No increased COVID lockdown restrictions for now - Health Dept

The Health Department's acting Director-General Nicholas Crisp said they were working with other departments, the private sector, and business entities to get the economy going again and avoid further lockdown restrictions.

Costumers queuing outside a liquor store on 1 June 2020 as the country moved to level 3 lockdown. The sale of alcohol was being allowed since 27 March 2020. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The Health Department has assured South Africans that there were no indications yet that further COVID-19 lockdown restrictions would be necessary now that the local government elections were over.

However, there are worries that a fourth wave could be sparked by a new variant and the department has to be prepared for anything.

The department has modeling experts who track various scenarios, look at the public's behaviour, vaccine uptake and also possible new variants.

The Health Department's acting Director-General Nicholas Crisp said that they were working with various other departments, the private sector, and business entities to get the economy going again and avoid further lockdown restrictions. He said that there were no signs to back up such a move for now.

"We are not in a hurry to introduce any further restrictions. There are no indications at the moment that this will be necessary or even valuable to implement any form of restrictions right now," said Crisp.

But what about a fourth wave? Is that a possibility?

Crisp said that the likelihood was always there and hopefully it wouldn't be a new variant.

"There are completely different variants. We have no way of predicting when there will suddenly be a mutation of the virus and we will get something different and how that new variant might behave," he said.

If it is a new variant, Crisp said that the department would simply have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.