Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has sparked a debate about whether the country should move to Level 1 lockdown regulations.
“I can smell Level 1,” said the EFF leader on Sunday.
Level 1 has been trending on social media as South Africans voice their opinions on the matter.
While some say they would appreciate the easing of lockdown regulations, others argue the country should stay in Level 3 until the majority of South Africans have been vaccinated.
The official announcement on any changes will be made by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
I don’t think we should go to level 1 yet, we made the same mistake last year, at the moment we making progress if we can just hold on a bit longer we might be Covid free.
— FlirtstoneM (@FlirtstoneM) February 28, 2021
The country received its second batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Saturday as the health department moves to vaccinate healthcare workers.
As of Saturday, South Africa has recorded 1,447 new cases of Covid-19, taking the cumulative number to 1,512,225. The country has recorded 49,941 Covid-19 related deaths.
Think we should stay at level 3, what is it that we will have access to in level 1 that we don’t now? https://t.co/IflRrVjg0A
— Thandolwabo (@Ta_Fitty) February 28, 2021
Nasrec Field Hospital decommissioned
The conversation about the country moving to Level 1 comes as the Gauteng provincial government closes and decommissions the Nasrec Field Hospital on Sunday.
This is due to the expansion of the public healthcare system that has seen 4,265 functional beds being added and evidence-based, scientific advice given by the provincial modelling team, said Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi.
“The closure of Nasrec Field Hospital will not have an major impact in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The Gauteng department of health now has the capacity to operationalise 4,265 functional beds through its hospital infrastructure should the need arise.
“Bed overload within hospital clusters will be managed through internal transfers between hospitals to relive areas of shortage within clusters,” said Mokgethi.
The Nasrec Field Hospital was initially secured in April last year as a 500-bed isolation and quarantine site to accommodate members of the public who could not self-isolate or quarantine at home.
Since opening, 1,658 patients were admitted at the Nasrec Field Hospital, broken into 1,254 for isolation, while 117 were admitted for quarantine and 287 priority 3 patients.
“To ensure value for money, some of the materials and equipment from the Nasrec Field Hospital will be repurposed and used in other healthcare facilities,” said Mokgethi.