- The Gauteng Covid-19 advisory committee recommends a hybrid of Level 3 and 4.
- Premier David Makhura says the province cannot afford to shut the economy down.
- The province recorded 10 806 new cases on Wednesday.
The Gauteng premier's advisory committee on Covid-19 recommends the province be placed under a hybrid of Level 3 and 4 lockdown.
Gauteng is currently the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic, having recorded 10 806 new cases on Wednesday.
The province is currently experiencing a 37% positivity rate in all tests.
Dr Mary Kawonga, the head of the committee, during a briefing on Thursday, said moving the province back to Level 5 would be too severe.
"We have a pandemic trajectory that has continued to increase. It's quite clear that alert Level 1 restrictions haven't worked. We moved into alert Level 3 and we haven't seen an impact yet.
"We need tighter restrictions … but we need to balance health and economic considerations. The recommendation that we have been making is that Level 5 is way too stringent and will have a disastrous impact on people," Kawonga said.
She added that it was too late for Level 5 measures.
Kawonga said that, to balance economy and people's health, a hybrid of Level 3 and 4 might be better.
"We, in Gauteng, are not powerless. There are things we can do to slow down the pandemic."
Some of these measures, she said, included ensuring that hospitals were not under severe pressure.
Currently, there are just over 5 800 people in hospital in the province because of the virus.
"Hospitalisations are the big burden at the moment. Usually, that's what forces governments to put in extra restrictions."
She also referred to alcohol restrictions: "We already have those. The question that policymakers now need to ask - is that sufficient?"
Premier David Makhura said the national government would make a decision on the regulations.
"We cannot afford to shut down the economy. If we shut it down, we must answer the question on how we will be able to offer relief.
"It is inconceivable to introduce Level 5. We will have to look at other measures."
He urged Gauteng residents to wear masks and social distance, in order to slow down infections.