Chinese President Xi Jinping. Picture: REUTERS
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Picture: REUTERS

The size of the initial Wuhan Covid-19 outbreak was suppressed by local Communist Party leaders. Chinese president Xi Jinping then panicked, imposing a complete lockdown of several cities. As the virus spread globally, the Chinese solution was used elsewhere because it “seemed” to work.

The alternative strategy of high levels of testing was used in South Korea because they had the equipment.

Initially, countries such as the UK and the US applied proportionate responses, only to be overwhelmed by social and traditional media reports. The hysteria was aptly illustrated by the nonsensical hoarding of toilet paper.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is hailed as the leader SA needs in this crisis. But was his decision to lock down the country for three weeks proportionate or even rational?

His announcement has caused more panic-buying and a disregard for social distance. Nor is it complete, as the same shops will remain open for the duration.

While such draconian action may flatten the infection curve, it will most definitely flatten what was left of the SA economy.

How will the government finance its much-vaunted new National Health Insurance (NHI) system once the virus has faded? How will it cope with an effective unemployment rate of more than 50%?

James Cunningham
Camps Bay

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