daThe Citizen reports that on Sunday, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen called on government to “trust science” and to “apply common sense” before the Easter holidays, labelling lockdown a “crude response” to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is widely expected that the country will be placed on a higher lockdown level this coming week. While level 2 has been mooted, it is unclear if interprovincial travel will be banned and if alcohol sales will once again be limited or completely banned. A stricter curfew could also be on the cards. “Exactly one year into our lockdown ordeal, the full picture of the damage caused by nation-wide lockdowns has become clear. We know that these lockdowns were not used for their stated intention. But yet government persisted with this crude response to the virus because it was the only weapon they seemed to have in their armoury,” Steenhuisen indicated in a statement. He added that the country could not afford the “blunt tool of nation-wide lockdowns”. Steenhuisen stated that that alcohol sale bans and stricter curfews only served to ‘decimate’ the restaurant industry. The opposition leader said that without a mass vaccination programme, one could only rely on personal responsibility regarding mask wearing, hygiene and social distancing. “While it is too late to save many thousands of businesses that did not survive the past twelve months of lockdown, it is not yet too late to save those that are now on the verge of ruin. That should be government’s top priority. That, and acquiring the quantities of vaccines needed to return our society to a semblance of normality,” he said.


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