NICD: No need to change lockdown restrictions amid emerging variant

NICD: No need to change lockdown restrictions amid emerging variant

The country’s leading scientists don’t believe there isW a need to reconsider the current lockdown restrictions following news of a new variant. 

Prof Adrian Puren NICD August 2021

On Monday, it emerged that South Africa was faced with the C.1.2 variant; albeit at a low frequency.


This comes amid a continued battle against the relentless third wave of infections.


The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) called a media briefing on Monday evening to give a stats report on the latest developments.


NICD’s Adrian Puren warned the new variant has a considerable number of mutations, making it a potential to become a variant of concern.


But he assured it may still be a while. 


“Our intention is not to create any panic at all,” said Puren. 


“We understand that these announcements do have implications around, for example the economy and with regard to travel, but we hope we’ve allayed the concerns that this will be monitored and that we are aware of the implications around this variant. We need to be in a state of preparedness.”


Puren added the vaccines were still the best line of defence.


But he admits the science isn’t perfect.


“Our current vaccines are really potent and effective in terms of preventing severe disease and death so from that particular perspective, it’s really important to reemphasise that all non-pharmaceutical interventions remain critical for us to adhere to.


“And of course getting people vaccinated will play a critical and important role because we don’t know whether this particular variant will be important. It may be other variants that may well come along.”


The country remains on level 3, a month after President Cyril Ramaphosa eased some restrictions. 


“I think all the regulations that are required to manage this Covid current third wave or resurgence is in place. I think regardless of the variant at this time, I don’t think that there’s any need for us to reconsider what is currently happen in terms of our current controls and the variant.”


He added each province would have to play a role in managing the spread of the virus. 

Listen to more local news below Jacaranda
Jacaranda FM

Show's Stories