After months of pleas Zweli Mkhize makes ministerial advisory recommendations public

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Zweli Mkhize.
Zweli Mkhize.
Lulama Zenzile

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has made public Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC) advisories, some of which raise concern over certain Disaster Management Act regulations.

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The recommendations include ones relating to regulations which seemingly did not correlate with efforts to flatten the Covid-19 curve, advice on the reopening of schools, Covid-19 modelling, mass testing, the use of cloth masks, asymptomatic infections, the impact of the hard lockdown, as well as efforts to avoid a possible resurgence of the virus.

News24 previously filed a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application for access to more than 70 advisories by the MAC, which was refused.

The advisories were published following the filing of an internal appeal earlier this month. News24 also filed a PAIA request for access to more detailed Covid-19 data, which was ignored.

In an advisory dated 17 August, MAC chair, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, says the lowering of the alert level to level 2 "is aimed at preventing a resurgence by testing efforts to monitor cases and outbreaks to implement local efforts to reduce/prevent transmission".

He adds: "A major concern is the potential for a second surge, likely to be driven by super-spreading events".

“During Alert Level 2, promotion of prevention strategies should be enhanced and complacency combatted. Restrictions should therefore focus principally on preventing the spread of the virus, especially the potential for superspreading events," writes Karim.

News24 earlier reported that experts on the MAC was calling for these advisories to be made public to better inform South Africa on how to live with the virus as well as who is really advising government.

More to follow.

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