Efforts to control spread of COVID-19 in SA should be guided by scientists: COPE

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The Congress of the People (COPE) says South Africa must always be guided by scientists and professionals when it comes to controlling the spread of COVID-19. This comes as the Easter long weekend is approaching and authorities are warning people to avoid attending large events that could become super-spreaders of COVID-19.

The party’s National Spokesperson Dennis Bloem says scientific decisions must be respected.

“We are saying all the time that we must always be guided by scientists and experts in COVID-19 decisions of the National Coronavirus Command Council, must be influenced by professionals and not by emotions, if the advice of the scientists. And experts say that Level 1 must be changed to Level 2 or 3 over the Easter long weekend. All of us must respect that advice.”

On Thursday, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said strict precautionary measures will be taken over the Easter weekend to prevent potential COVID-19 super spreader events. He said it is crucial to take safety measures, particularly over the holiday period.

The Minister’s statement came as experts advised the government to put the country under a stricter lockdown level for the Easter weekend.

Reaction to call for stricter COVID-19 measures during Easter weekend:

They warned that the third wave of COVID-19 infections could hit South Africa after the holiday period.

South Africa warned of a possible third wave of COVID-19:

Churches concerned

On Thursday, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) expressed concern about reports that the National Coronavirus Advisory Council has advised the government to place the country on either alert Level 2 or 3 lockdown regulations to avoid the spread of the virus over the Easter weekend.

The council said all the churches are looking forward to celebrating Easter, which they did not do in 2020 due to stringent lockdown regulations.

However, some churches have already taken a decision to not host Easter services.

Archbishop Daniel Mathe of the St. Johns Apostolic Faith Mission Church of South Africa said with the imminent threat of the third wave after Easter, the church decided to cancel their Good Friday service in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

“What we are saying is that we cannot hold Easter because of this disease. It kills. It is very dangerous. That is why we have cancelled the Good Friday (service). We are only having the Sunday prayer.”

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana on the Easter weekend under lockdown: