The Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, and the government will have to start listening to what medical professionals and scientists are saying about lockdown and Covid-19.
Various medical professionals and scientists, who serve on Mkhize's advisory committee, publicly admitted in the media over the weekend that the lockdown is no longer serving any purpose and that the government is dismissing their advice.
The FF Plus finds this information alarming seeing as even the government's own head health advisor, Salim Abdool Karim, also admitted earlier this month that the lockdown has served its purpose and that South Africans' lives must start returning to normal.
The Minister of Health must start heeding the advice of the experts. Further restrictions will not stop the inevitable spread of the virus. It was only meant to buy the government some time to get its health care system ready.
The FF Plus hopes that the government did indeed make good use of this time. The results will speak for themselves when the spread of the virus peaks.
The FF Plus is, furthermore, concerned that the country's entire health care system could come to a standstill due to the focus on Covid-19 and the disruption brought about by it. All the focus cannot be centred on the pandemic, attention must now also be paid to other important diseases and operations. It is alarming that as many as 146 000 operations were postponed over a period of 12 weeks.
Ordinary medical care could become so severely backlogged that it results in chaos in the public sector and the routine treatment of ordinary diseases could become problematic.
Another cause for concern is that the restrictions are also taking their toll on doctors and specialists in the private sector. According to media reports, some doctors' income has decreased with between 40% and 60% and that puts pressure on them to keep delivering services.
The Minister and the government must realise that the virus is going to spread, regardless of the restrictions they impose. The time has come to unlock the economy and to avert a crisis of epic proportions.