Govt to appeal ruling declaring some Covid-19 measures invalid

‘We are of the view that another court might come to a different conclusion on the matter,’ Minister Mthembu told a news conference
Image: REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The South African government will appeal a court ruling that declared some of its coronavirus lockdown regulations invalid, a senior official said on Thursday after a cabinet meeting.

A high court ruled earlier this week that some of the rules governing levels three and four of the country’s five-level coronavirus lockdown were “unconstitutional and invalid”.

It said they should be reviewed and amended, giving consideration to their impact on individual rights, but suspended its order for 14 days, which means the rules remain in place for now.

“We are of the view that another court might come to a different conclusion on the matter,” Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu told a news conference, reading a cabinet statement. “Cabinet has therefore decided to appeal the North Gauteng High Court decision.”

Mthembu said the government would ask for its appeal to be heard on an urgent basis.

He added that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet had also approved an extension of a national state of disaster for a further month until July 15.

South Africa introduced one of the world’s most restrictive COVID-19 lockdowns in March – including a ban on alcohol and cigarette sales – but has gradually eased restrictions down to the third of five levels.

Ramaphosa and his government initially enjoyed broad support for their decisions but after weeks of serious damage to an already shrinking economy, criticism has started to grow.

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A week before our lockdown UK Government website reveals:

As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) in the UK.

The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which continues to increase……

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