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'It's time' — Bantu Holomisa says 'masks must fall'

It is unclear if mask-wearing regulations will be scrapped, but the minister of health says the WHO has advised against complacency

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says mask-wearing should be scrapped. File photo.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa says mask-wearing should be scrapped. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali

As government deliberates on ending the national state of disaster, UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has called for the scrapping of compulsory face masks.

On Sunday, Holomisa tweeted a picture of him wearing a mask and wrote: “Masks must fall. It's time.”

Health minister Joe Phaahla addressed a media session on Friday on government's response to Covid-19, saying the department of health and other stakeholders were tasked with providing alternative safety measures to limit the spread and affect of the pandemic.

“The [department] has been hard at work revising its regulations to control notifiable infectious diseases and is ready to present at the next NCCC [national coronavirus command council] meeting.”

It remains unclear if mask-wearing regulations will be scrapped, but the minister said the World Health Organisation (WHO) advised against complacency.

As the WHO has stated at various forums, two of which I attended this week including yesterday [Sunday], Covid-19 is not over as can be seen from the global numbers and we must avoid reversing the hard-earned gains we have made as we strive to end the pandemic.

“We hope the reviewed health regulations and others from other departments will assist in a guided reopening of various economic and social activities, especially in the leisure and tourism areas, with less risk of super-spreaders,” said Phaahla. 

The proposed amendments will include adjustments to travel requirements. 

Some Twitter users agreed with Holomisa.


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