Fact check: Ndlozi claims WHO advice was ignored when lockdown eased

Fact check: Ndlozi claims WHO advice was ignored when lockdown eased

-Mbuyiseni Ndlozi recently commented that SA was easing lockdown despite the WHO saying that the nation wasn't ready yet

- This echoed an earlier statement from the EFF, which insisted the government had ignored scientific advice in favour of relaxing restrictions

- Briefly.co.za explores if the former Red Beret spokesperson's comment really reflects the WHO's stance on the matter

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When South Africa's Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased in April some voiced their displeasure over the decision. The Economic Freedom Fighters were amongst those that felt the move was not only premature but against the advice of world experts on the pandemic.

Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, a former party spokesperson, supported the Red Berets' stance on the issue, questioning why the government had eased lockdown 'despite the World Health Organization unequivocally declaring that SA was not ready'.

However, Africa Check looked into these claims and determined that the WHO has not issued any statements indicating that SA isn't ready to relax lockdown laws.

The organisation has published guidelines to transition without seeing an increase in Covid-19 infections. This plan includes preventative measures in the workplace and sufficient healthcare services.

coronavirus

Ndlozi claimed that the SA government had ignored WHO advice when it relaxed lockdown. Image: EFF South Africa
Source: Instagram

READ ALSO: Tantamount to genocide: EFF blasts Ramaphosa over lockdown relaxation

The WHO released a statement urging African nations to act cautiously when easing lockdowns, raising concerns that cases could surge if the relaxation took place too rapidly.

Despite these warnings the WHO has made it clear the ultimate decision over how and when lockdowns are lifted lies with the government. Communications officer for the WHO Africa office, Collins Boakye-Agyemang commented that:

“We don’t get involved in the decision of whether a government should lock down or not. Our role is to provide the best possible evidence and recommendation to countries. Then they have to make their own decisions.”

So, while Ndlozi may not necessarily be pleased over the decision to lift lockdown in SA, his claim that the WHO had echoed his opinion is untrue.

Earlier, Briefly.co.za reported that the EFF outright rejected the decision to relax lockdown restrictions despite continued increases in the number of Covid-19 cases in SA.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had addressed the nation to announce that cinemas, restaurants and personal care services would be allowed to open after three months of lockdown.

But the EFF is not in the least bit impressed with this call, adamant that Ramaphosa is an 'incoherent man who does not know what he is doing':

"As Ramaphosa stumbles in conceding to the demands of white-monopoly capital, he undermines the very purpose of the lockdown, restricting certain activities illogically as he has basically reopened society."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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