Some health experts say it's time for some COVID regulations to be scrapped

In March, it will be two years since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the state of disaster under the Disaster Management Act, which frees up resources for government to respond to the pandemic.

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JOHANNESBURG - Health experts said that it was time that some COVID-19 regulations were scrapped because they were creating more disruptions than the actual pandemic.

In March, it will be two years since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared the state of disaster under the Disaster Management Act, which frees up resources for government to respond to the pandemic.

The Act also gave rise to a number of regulations, including social distancing, which is having a huge impact on the schooling system.

Wits University professor of vaccinology, Shabir Madhi, said that although there would be future variants, vaccines and community immunity offered us protection against severe disease and death.

"The regulations right now are creating more of a disruption than the pandemic itself. And the reason for that is it is no longer expected to be overrunning our healthcare facilities and COVID-19, during the course of 2022, is unlikely to cause any more deaths than would have occurred before COVID in duration to the flu, which accounts for about 11,000 people to die in South Africa," Madhi said.

But Professor Mosa Moshabela, deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal said that not all regulations should be scrapped.

"Many of the challenges we're seeing in the education sector don't need the end of the Disaster Management Act, they can actually be included in the regulations. I think it's a matter for people who are education specialists and people who are in epidemiology to stick together and figure out the best way," Moshabela said.