Thursday September 30, 2021
The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) notes the statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing the decision by the Cabinet to move the country to adjusted Alert Level 1 of the COVID-19 lockdown as part of government’s Risk Adjusted Strategy.
The President reported that the decision to move the country to Alert level 1 was informed by amongst others the decline in COVID-19 cases and sustained decreases in hospitalisations and deaths.
As NEHAWU, we view the decrease in cases, hospitalisations and deaths as a positive sign that our efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic are starting to yield positive results and our efforts as a nation should be commended in that regard. However, we call upon government not to lower its hands and be caught up by complacence as indications are signalling the potential fourth wave by end of November 2021.
As NEHAWU, we hope that the decision to move the country to alert level 1 will not contribute to an upsurge in the number of new infections leading to mass hospitalisations thereby putting strains on our already overstretched healthcare system. Our members and workers in the healthcare sector have experienced the worst of this pandemic especially with the previous waves and we hope this decision will not once again put their lives in danger as a result of relaxing lockdown regulations.
It is our view that government during the relaxation of COVID-19 regulations will adequately prepare the health sector for the predicted fourth wave so as to avoid to be caught under belt all the time by different waves since previous waves. In this regard, we will continue to engage the new Minister in our meeting possibly to take place next week on the need to learn lessons from the unpreparedness of government on previous waves especially when it comes to relaxing regulations.
Lastly, we call on all our people not to be complacent and continue to practise non-pharmaceutical interventions to protect themselves. Equally we call on our people to continue vaccinating. We call our people to continue wearing masks, sanitise their hands and to observe social distancing.
Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat
Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Lwazi Nkolonzi (NEHAWU Acting National Spokesperson) at 081 558 2335 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org