The Bureau of Public Safety (BPS) has called on the Government to review existing COVID-19 restrictions on mass gatherings and assemblies with immediate effect to reduce the spread of the virus in the country.

The BPS wants the government to review existing COVID-19 travel protocols to suspend air travels from countries afflicted with COVID-19 variants (commonly referred to as the ‘superbug’), especially the United Kingdom, South Africa, United States of America, and Brazil, and re-evaluate same over time.

This among others the BPS believes will reduce the surge in recorded cases.

Apart from the above, the BPS in a statement noted that the government must additionally review existing COVID-19 travel protocols for arriving passengers from non-superbug destinations; where travelers are allowed to choose between the under listed:

a) a 5-day mandatory quarantine cum testing after which travelers who test negative end their quarantine, or

b) a straight 10-day mandatory quarantine without testing

The BPS further wants the government to randomly sample school-going pupils and students after 30 days of being in school to determine prevalence among that population and re-evaluate the situation based on the outcomes and also “Elect to Rapid Antigen tests at Public Health facilities for sick members of the public or persons showing signs or symptoms of the disease and are willing to know their status.”

“Antigen tests are not only less expensive but also return results faster and will help to reduce the burden on existing laboratories,” the statement added.

Furthermore, the BPS encouraged businesses and organisations to consider importing the Rapid Antigen test kits and make them available for testing workers and employees showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19; as this method they believe will ultimately improve worker availability and efficiency, avoid business interruption by eliminating long wait times for PCR test results, and high cost of PCR tests for suspected cases, in these times when businesses are under and their bottom-lines are threatened daily.

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The BPS encouraged the general public to continue to adhere strictly to all COVID-19 prevention and hygiene protocols as the devastating effect of the virus on health and wellbeing remains an evolving subject matter for public health experts.

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