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  • Will SA bring back lockdown restrictions to cope with Monkeypox?

    Will SA bring back lockdown restrictions to cope with Monkeypox?

    Following COVID-19 with a Monkeypox chaser wasn’t what any of us had hoped for this year – but the rare disease has now emerged in 19 countries, where the virus itself is not endemic. On Wednesday, health officials were asked if this could facilitate the return of certain lockdown restrictions.

    Thankfully, the experts have soundly rejected the idea.

    Lockdown restrictions for Monkeypox? Don’t count on it

    That’s largely down to the fact that Monkeypox will not have the same ability to spread how COVID-19 did. Although scores of new cases are being reported, this disease is spread through intimate, physical contact. Case growth rates won’t come close those of coronavirus.

    South Africa’s health system is able to cope with a rise in Monkeypox cases, and many hospitals are well-equipped to handle patients.  Jacqueline Weyer is a representative of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), and she isn’t particularly worried…

    The expert is highly cynical that lockdown restrictions would have the desired impact, given that they come at a great economical cost. What’s more, Monkeypox fatality rates remain extremely low, and there’s already a vaccine in place for those who require the treatment.

    Not every disease outbreak is COVID-19…

    Anyone trying to scare the public into thinking otherwise cannot be taken seriously. Monkeypox is more than manageable, Weyer says, and measures like border closures – even for just one day – would have grave consequences for South Africa.

    “I think we’re all acutely aware of the economic and the social impact of lockdown restrictions, and I think it’s always a cost-benefit discussion that one needs to have. Even if we were to have cases of monkeypox, our system would deal with that.”

    “We need to weigh up the risks and the benefits of the situation in an objective way and I think that’s what we’re seeing in the global community as well, it’s not just South Africa, no other countries have closed their borders.”

    Jacqueline Weyer

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