The Last Diary: Day 828

Good morning weirdos!

Exciting news! The Covid-19 pandemic is officially over and out in South Africa. Not only don’t we have to wear masks anymore, the whole thing is over. Let’s quickly peek at the official statement by the minister of health n stuff from a couple days ago:

STATEMENT BY MINISTER OF HEALTH DR JOE PHAAHLA ON THE REPEAL OF REGULATIONS ON NOTIFIABLE MEDICAL CONDITIONS DEALING WITH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AND ON MONKEY-POX
Thursday, June 2022
Programme Director,
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele
Provincial MECs present,
Director-General, Dr S Buthelezi,
Chairpersons of Ministerial Advisory Committees,
Health Management Team
Members of the Media
 
Today is a very historic day as we have reached a turning point since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the world and in the country. We recall that our first case was confirmed on 5 March 2020 in Pietermaritzburg from a South African who had travelled to Europe.
The President of the Republic, President Cyril Ramaphosa constituted the National Coronvirus Command Council and following its meeting he announced on 16 March 2020 that a Nationwide lockdown would start on midnight of 19 March 2020 with a strict stay at home unless you had permission to undertake essential services. Since then four full waves of the pandemic have ensued with the first 3 waves causing devastation with loss of lives across all sectors of society including health workers.
Disruptions of social and economic life have been huge most painful being families unable to visit loved ones who were seriously ill in hospital and for those who passed away, being buried under strict conditions. On the economic side, major losses of jobs and closure of several business especially SMME’S but even big hotels, airlines etc.
To delay the spread and allow health facilities to prepare capacity, even as the strict lockdown was lifted a risk adjusted strategy was used to reduce the spread of the virus.
In February 2021 we started vaccination under the Sisonke program led by the MRC starting with health workers and following with Education. In May 2021 when we started with the high risk age group of 60+ and progressively rolled out vaccination until we could open for 12-17 years old in November 2021.
We want to take this opportunity on behalf of all government to thank South Africans for their support and cooperation over the last 2 years and 3 months. While there was a lot of common ground and agreement even across political lives early in the pandemic when we all thought it would be short and over within a few months, the longer it took more fatigue and disagreements on strategy started to surface. We appreciate the fact that not withstanding the disagreements even leading to threats or even actual court actions the mainframe of our collective action remained until today. We thank South Africans for resilience in internalizing various measures of prevention and mitigation against the virus some of which will help us in dealing with some older respiratory diseases such as influenza and TB but also future respiratory epidemics.
We thank the collective leadership of our country across all sectors such as faith- based, civil society, traditional, business, academia, youth, women etc for rising to the occasion. Even though we did not realise our goal of vaccinating at least 70% of the adult population, we take solace in that as on 22 June 36,700m vaccine doses have been administered to 20.09m adults and 1,9 children of 12-17 year old giving a total average of 50.48% with at least one dose. We applaud the big turnout of the 60+ age group who are at risk with a 70,5% turnout and the next high risk of 50-59 years with a 66,17% turnout.
We believe that the big turnout of the 50+ age group contributed hugely to the reduced severity hospitalization and mortality witnessed in the fourth wave and persistent up to today.
We also want to recognize the best perfoming province in the vaccination program, the Free State for being the only province which has reached 60% of coverage of their adult population at 60.15%. They started slow but soon picked up pace towards the end of 2021 and never looked back.
Just behind them in the mid-band are Western Cape at 57.37%, Limpopo 57%, Eastern Cape 54.53% and N. Cape at 51.45%. Gauteng has the highest is absolute numbers at 5.4m individuals vaccinated but low in percentage at 47.8% due to a huge population size together with KZN , N-West and Mpumalanga have reached a coverage of below 50%
The Omicron variant driving the forth wave with its rapid spread affecting the highest number of people at a very short time led to increased natural immunity.
In March this year when the impact of the 4th started waning, government took the decision to exit the Disaster Management Act as an instrument to limit the impact of Covid-19. At the same time the Department of Health published Amendments to the 2017 Health Regulations on the Surveillance and Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions.
On the 5th of May, we published a limited set of Regulations to provide a framework for mitigating against a spike in Covid-19 infectionsdriven by subvariant B.4 and B.5 of the Omicron variant. During late April and most of May there was a significant peak in daily infections across the country starting to drive increased admissions to hospitals and daily deaths reported. Daily infections rose from as low as 250 cases per day in early April to just under 8000 on 15 May 2022 with positivity rate reaching 22% on 1st May and 20% on 15 May.
By mid-June the situation had taken to a very positive direction with:
Decline in daily cases
Decline in hospitalization
Decline in positivity rate
Decline in reproductive number
And decline in reported deaths
Having monitored the positive direction for more than three weeks we came to the conclusion that the peak infection which we concluded was a limited 5th wave driven by subvariants and not a new variant of concern was dissipating and thar there was no more any eminent risk.
It is on this basis that we approached the NCCC and the National Health Council which is made up of all Health MECs with a proposal that the limited regulations which dealt with:
(a) Wearing of masks indoors
(b) Limitations of gatherings
(c) Vaccination proof or PCR negative tests at Ports of Entry, – should all be lifted
We are pleased that out proposal received full support including by the Presidential Coordinating Council and Cabinet yesterday.
As a results of this, I signed a note in the Government Gazette last night releasing all the remaining health regulations.
We thank the leadership and guidance of President Ramaphosa, the National Cabinet, Premiers, and MECs, Mayors and Councilors and the officials across all of government.
We thank leaders of Civil Society, Faith-Based Institutions, Business, Labour and Traditional Authorities for their support and assistance.
We thank all Ministerial Advisory Committees for their self-less guidance without any claim of reward.
We just need to end with caution that the Covid-19 virus is not yet gone, it is still in our midst, we are just stronger that before especially with vaccination and we urge those not yet vaccinated to come forward and those due for boosters to also come forward.
The vaccination program will remain and is now being integrated into normal health services.
We urge all leaders of society and organizers of events to work with out health workers to promote healthy lifestyle and know your status, which is – Blood Pressure, Blood sugar, Cancer, HIV, Covid, etc.
On Monkeypox
Late yesterday, I received a report from the National Health laboratory Services CEO that they have confirmed through laboratory tests the first case of monkeypox in South Africa. The patient is a 30 year old male from Johannesburg who has no travel history, meaning that this cannot be attributed to having been acquired outside South Africa. Working with the relevant health authorities a process of contact tracing has begun.
Monkeypox is usually a mild disease manifesting as a blisters on the skin. It is usually mild and self-limiting with a fatality rate of 1%. The disease has previously been reported in African countries such as Nigeria, DRC, CA Republic and Ghana in the early 2000s. The current outbreak is dominated by high numbers in Europe e.g UK, Spain, Germany, Portugal and France. Cases have also been reported in the USA and Canada.
The NICD is conducting online in service training for our health workers for them to be able to detect the disease so that the necessary laboratory tests can be done. The disease only spread through close droplets so you cannot get by being in the same room with an infected person. Thus far it has been dominant in men who have set with men, but the main feature is hat transmission is through close contact.
I thank you

So far so boring. But one exciting fact caught my attention: My whole timeline, that I so carefully cultivated during the last 2.5 years, was wrong! 😮

I was about a week short or so. In Phaahla’s statement the 19th March 2020 marks the start date of the lockdown, not as I always assumed, the 27th. It’s all so weird. May it be that I was correct and the govt of SA in the wrong? I mean I wrote the first day entry for the Corona diary on that day! And I can prove it. Look:

Bummer. :/

Well, doesnt’t matter anymore, does it? Of course I’ll carry my mask with me when I go out, and depending on the situation, local regulations, security guards and my fellow Capetonians, I’m ready to slip it on in a second. But I’m not gonna volunteer to wear it.

My most elaborate mask.

Tell me, my smarties, how is the situation in your locale? All over and fine or are you still on high alert? Does your govt sit on tonnes of unwanted and unused vaccines as well?

Anyhoo, what say you, shall we stop this diary now? I mean, if anything happens, if case numbers climb up again and corpses are lining the streets, I can always reactivate the diary and get us up-to-date with the most recent developments, can’t I?

Cya laterz

xoxo

17 comments

    • Hm, yes, Emille, the western politcians are the laughing stock of the free world right now. No matter if reps or dems on your side of the puddle or deeply pseudo-democratic clowns of Europe.

      I’m not an expert on America but the way I see it, the dems are maybe a bit better internally but playing with fire in geopolitics, while the Trumpists are terrible for America but with their isolationist politics much better for worldpeace.

      That about right?

      PS: Very nice to hear the much missed voices of the silent majority from time to time. Thx very much for conversing/contributing, Emille. 🙂

      Like

      • Thanks for your honest opinion – everyone is so scared here, It does not even make sense to voice it:) I think the opposite about Trump for America – we have with the new prez. hyper inflation for groceries – they are trying to create a manmade shortage; gas (for cars) has more than doubled, and since there’s not a good public transportation system we depend on our car here to go anywhere. And with any little change there is violence (probably Soros funded). Have a happy week:) Emille

        Liked by 1 person

        • No matter which side of the political spectrum anyone of us is on, the collective West is doomed. Idiots just had to aggravate the hibernating bear, whose strength they stupidly underestimated … and now they and their Ukrainian puppet regime are being punished.

          Hubby and me congratulate ourselves each and every day on our smart decision to move from Deutschland to South Africa, like, 20 years ago. Humble little shithole country with no enemies but many friends, neither belonging to the west nor the east … although we’re a member of BRICS and leaning more and more in direction Russia/China than Europe.

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            • Brasil, Russia, India, China, South Africa.

              A new – alternative if you wanna see it that way – economic union of up-and-coming industrial states that were, and still are, shunned by the G7 and western nations. And more countries are cueing up for membership. Iran and Argentina will be next quite possibly. And they are all working on replacing the colonial petrodollar with the Rouble or Yuan. I can already see some veins popping in the White House and in Brussels. ^.^

              Multipolarity instead of American hegemony. It’s the new world order, hun.

              Wanna hear some blah blah?

              Like

              • Maybe I’m wrong, but seeing how C. has infiltrated the colleges, and overtaken the harbors, and sizable landmass, I don’t trust them. Up till now, all they show is a bend towards monopoly …
                If it’s blah, blah, blah about you, that’s okay, I’m more interested in people than politics:)

                Liked by 1 person

                • “C. has infiltrated the colleges, and overtaken the harbors, and sizable landmass”

                  Please elaborate if you don’t mind, coz I don’t get it. Never ever attended a college, only proper university. And what harbors and sizable landmass did C. overtake … like, ever? Okay, there’s Nepal and some quibbles with India about some mountain regions in the himalaya. But apart from that? Far as I know they have more or less the same harbors they had in 1850 or so, and they are all inside Chinese borders.

                  And monopoly? Really? In the last 20-30 years C’s communism underwent huge changes and the almighty party permissioned as many private business as never before. Fortunately they still keep a lid on unfettered capitalism tho. That way they got rid of poverty and hunger and created a robust middle class where only poor workers used to be. Anyhoo, they are busy creating a widespread society and many small businesses. That’s as far removed from the idea of a monopoly as anyone can imagine.

                  See, you can’t compare and judge C. with our Western measures. They never knew democracy, only feudal servdom until Mao and his commies took over. And communism has proved as best form of govt for C. Only communism and a very disciplined people was able to create enough food for the manymany people.

                  And, no, for me the videos were no just blah blah but I feared they might appear as such to most viewers.

                  Aaaaaaaaaand … it’s people who make politics! 🙂

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                  • Aah, am tired of disagreeing with you, but it’s okay since we are both able to do it in a civil manner:)
                    College is the beginning years of the university (4 years for a Bachelor Degree, then 4-6 years for a doctoral degree).
                    C. has bought up all the harbors, so they could easily overtake the USA, and bought up much farmland.
                    Have traveled almost all of Eastern Europe when it was under communism, and C. of course some 20 years ago. I am glad to have the freedom of the West (the downer is the emphasis on money), but since it’s free to do whatever one wants or what one wants to become and how to live, I rather have that a 100 times over communism. No oppression of other religions.
                    C. punishes Christians and Islam with slave labor and imprisonment.
                    One thing to keep in mind is when I talk about C. it’s always about the government, because I love the people of the hutongs, etc. – was there in for a week when our son taught in Nanchang and Shen-Zhen for 5 years.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • “C. has bought up all the harbors”
                      Where?

                      “so they could easily overtake the USA,”
                      Which obvsly wasn’t that easy but needed lots of hard work. And since when is it forbidden, in a capitalist system, to buy stuff for whatever reason?

                      “bought up much farmland”
                      Again, where?

                      “Have traveled almost all of Eastern Europe”
                      During communism I only traveled some central Asian soviet republics, as a school project. Wasn’t easy for a buncha western school kidz to get all the visa. Other eastern European countries we only visited after the wall came down. But I’ve noticed many C. tourists/bizniz people on all our African trips.

                      “C. punishes Christians and Islam with slave labor and imprisonment.”
                      Rumours don’t make a fact.

                      I admire the Chinese spirit. They are so entrepreneurial and meticulous. It’s a frigggin wonder how they came up from where they were to where they are now. Manufacturer of the world and all that. I only know they didn’t set themselves up as enemies but as biziniz patners. Not their problem they are better at it than we are, is it. It’s the ‘murkins who view them – and the Russkies – as enemies. Not a problem of the world at large.

                      I dunno nuffink about pomcuter trubbelz when sending links.

                      Like

                    • Where farmland – do you know America is as big as Europe – since it is free to buy land and business anywhere, I couldn’t tell you (I could, but then I have to spend a few days on the computer, sorry but I have other things that are more important) – only in the state where I live in now- the land is full of those modern windmills, providing electricity – Chinese owner. I love the hardworking Chinese, but not the monopoly to control the whole world of the government.
                      C. punishing other religions – and even the different thinking of students – remember Tiananman Square where everyone was mowed down when they held a peaceful demonstration – is sadly not a rumor. I know for instance, the underground church has more than 150 thousand believers, but I’m not going to name names or places. Even the United Nations knows C. has slave labor camps for Islam. Communism or Capitalism could have been a preference, only – what I have seen of communism is right out control and tyrannical methods. No thanks.

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                • “windmills, providing electricity – Chinese owner.”

                  Good for him or her, good for America. Those windmills are the shit, making power from neverending natural resources. I’m all for solar and wind-sourced power.
                  Much more important: Is the owner a Chinese farmer, maybe even American passport holder, private company, C-gvt owned enterprise? Huge difference. And in the end your state agreed to sell the land to them and gave permission for a wind-powered energy plant, so you mustn’t complain. I guess you could do the same if you wanted. Or vote another govnor.

                  Here in Africa people are happy to do bizniz with C. They don’t come as imperialists but as bizniz partners, not as exploiters but as developers. Lately had a look at Nigeria, which American mega corps have turned into a big stinkin oil puddle? That’s only one way America is losing friends and influence all over the world.

                  Thx for the link, I just subscribbled to your blog.

                  Like

                  • Yeah, I saw you on my blog and gave you a comment. Remember, I am still a Dutch citizen, so I can’t vote. I know nowadays I probably could do it illegally, but I won’t go there. I don’t want to live, having secrets – that’s a deplorable life. I know America is not perfect and does many inhumane things, but so does the other side. Freedom to be what I want to be, is the thing that keeps me here, and of course my grandkids:) I did try to go back to Holland a few times, but the last time I did, happened to be at the week covid broke out. Go figure.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • “but so does the other side.”
                      Do they? And what is the other side? That’s a construct that only exists in American and NATO minds. Neither C nor Russa did ever choose to be some ominous “other side”. They are just better, smarter bizniz people, more industrious, richer, with happier populations. How dare they?

                      “I did try to go back to Holland a few times, but the last time I did, happened to be at the week covid broke out.”
                      Yes, the other big C that crossed so many well-laid out life plans. 😦

                      Talking about happy populations: Are you aware that the Dutch govt is busy dismantling 1/3 of Dutch farms and farmers and big protests broke out? People are literally fighting for survival, they are barricading border posts and have most of the people behind them. Media coverage = ZERO! 😮 And the Nuland/Kagan clan + Biden jr. is laughing all the way to the bank.
                      The more you know, eh?

                      Like

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