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Why we will probably be in a State of Disaster for a while- South Africa

Does the State of Disaster end by midnight tonight?


There seems to be confusion on social media about 15th of August and the end of the State of Disaster. Despite some people stating that today marks the end of the “lockdown”, all indications are that the State of Disaster will be extended and that we will move to Level 2 soon.

Declaration of a State of Disaster
Section 27 of the Disaster Management Act provides that the Minister responsible (currently the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs) may declare a national state of disaster if there is no existing legislation provided for the executive to deal with a disaster, or if other special circumstances requires it. This State of Disaster will lapse after three months (if it is not ended sooner) and can be extended by the publication of a notice in the Government Gazette for one month at a time.


This is what has happened so far. The last extension was published on 13 July 2020.

Alert levels
The government also informed us that they wish to manage Covid in terms of “alert levels”. This will enable the government to move between different levels, depending on the rate of infections and other considerations. I am not sure if it is still helpful to call it a “lockdown” rather than “alert level restrictions”.

The system is explained as follows:

Alert levels determine the level of restrictions to be applied during the national state of disaster.

(a) ‘Alert Level 1’ indicates a low Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness;

(b) ‘Alert Level 2’ indicates a moderate Covid-19 spread with a high health system readiness;

(c) ‘Alert Level 3’ indicates a moderate Covid-19 spread with a moderate health system readiness;

(d) ‘Alert Level 4’ indicates a moderate to a high Covid-19 spread with a low to moderate health system readiness;

(e) ‘Alert Level 5’ indicates a high Covid-19 spread with a low health system readiness.

 

The Ministerial Advisory Committee must advise the Minister of Health regarding which Alert Level should be declared nationally, provincially, in a metropolitan area, or a district, when taking into account

(a) the epidemiological trends of Covid-19 infections;

(b) the health system capacity in a specified area to respond to the disease burden; and

(c) any other factor that would influence the level of infection, hospitalisation and mortality.

Other countries follow a similar model, for instance, the United Kingdom and Australia. There is also criticism of using this model.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE on the LINK ABOVE


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