Lockdown: Premier is wrong about Bloemfontein – economy must be unlocked

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Lockdown: Premier is wrong about Bloemfontein – economy must be unlocked
Lockdown: Premier is wrong about Bloemfontein – economy must be unlocked

The Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, thinks that the Mangaung Metro must remain on Level Four of lockdown and not move down to another level. The Premier is ignorant and is making irresponsible decisions to the detriment of the Free State province and especially the residents of Bloemfontein.

The Premier referred to the number of cumulative cases of Covid-19 infections in the Free State, particularly in Mangaung, as motivation for why the Metro must remain on Level Four. She, however, did not take the fact that many of these cases have already recovered into account. With less than 50 active cases in the Metro, there is no reason to remain on a higher level of lockdown.

The FF Plus is of the opinion that the levels and restrictions are irrational and not in line with the goal of curbing the spread of the virus. Social distancing, regularly washing one’s hands, adhering to other stringent hygiene measures and prohibiting large gatherings are the only effective ways to limit the spread of the virus in the long term.

Businesses that have the necessary precautionary measures in place must be afforded the opportunity to become operational.

Seeing as the Mangaung Metro is the economic heartbeat of the Free State, it will have a detrimental effect on the entire population of the province if the economy is not re-opened now. It makes no sense to try and limit the spread of the virus while people are starving to death and irreparable damage is sustained by the economy.

The initial goal with enforcing the lockdown was to allow the health care system enough time to prepare for dealing with the virus. If the Premier wants to argue that the Metro cannot be re-opened because the various systems are not yet ready, then it comes down to a serious accusation against her provincial government and administration seeing as they have already had eight weeks to prepare and get things ready.

If things are not in place, Mangaung residents are by no means to blame for it and, thus, the residents and the economy must no longer be punished for the shortcomings of the Free State health care system. No lockdown, no matter how severe, will stop the virus. It will only contribute to destroying the economy.

The FF Plus demands that action must be taken to prevent famine while effective measures must be put in place to curb the spread of the virus. The FF Plus will do everything in its power to oppose the Premier’s irrational proposal.

Read the original article in Afrikaans by Jan van Niekerk on FF Plus

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