Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) says it is concerned that while the health minister repealed certain Covid-19 regulations yesterday, the disease remains a category-2 notifiable condition.
In a press release today, FOR SA notes that despite the lifting of Regulations 16A through 16C of the Health Regulations Amendment, 2022, the minister is still allowing public comments on the Draft Health Regulations until August 5.
FOR SA says it has written to the minister asking for him to withdraw the Draft Health Regulations in their entirety, as well as repeal Covid-19’s listing as a notifiable medical condition. Should the department decide otherwise, FOR SA has asked that it provide reasons for this decision.
“The Draft Health Regulations differ from the now repealed Regulations 16A through 16C in that they are much wider and more intrusive, proposing, amongst other things, mandatory ‘treatment’. Treatment is undefined and can be interpreted to mean mandatory vaccination,” says FOR SA’s Executive Director, Michael Swain.
“Extremely concerning is the continuation of Covid-19’s listing as a notifiable medical condition, which makes it possible for the minister to promulgate regulations under the National Health Act which limit fundamental rights and freedoms in an extreme way,” Swain says.
In the press release FOR SA notes that yesterday’s repealing of Regulations 16A through 16C followed reports on social media containing an alleged letter from the health minister to various MECs of health. This letter stated that South Africa had exited the fifth wave and proposed repealing the regulations relating to indoor mask-wearing, gathering restrictions and travel restrictions.
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