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Balance between protecting health, livelihoods needed, says Makhura

The provincial executive has been briefed by the COVID-19 advisory committee that lockdown regulations may be relaxed gradually.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura. Picture: @GautengProvince/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng Premier David Makhura on Thursday said there must be a balance between protecting the health of the people and their livelihoods, during the coronvirus pandemic.

The provincial executive has been briefed by the COVID-19 advisory committee that lockdown regulations may be relaxed gradually.

This is because of the decline in new cases recorded since last month.

The province has been cautioned, however, that another peak is expected to hit the it in November.

It’s a catch 22 situation - Makhura can either allow the complete reopening of the economy and risk a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases and deaths or he can keep a conservative approach and possibly see poverty skyrocket.

It’s been forecast that 2 million jobs will be lost in the province by the end of the pandemic, adding to the country’s already bleak employment outlook.

Makhura said this month has been dedicated to address this: “Wellbeing has got many facets; if people who used to work no longer work, it has an impact on their mental health and ability to feed themselves and their families.”

The Gauteng premier said it cannot be ignored that some of the province’s mass infections were seen when industries like mining were reopened on the West Rand.

He said it was important to ensure that the measures that have helped flatten the COVID-19 curve remain in place.

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