SADC countries are considering stricter measures, including an earlier lockdowns, curfew and further limits on gatherings with South Africa being on the lead to implement the tough measures.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has fired warning shots said the tougher measures may be announced soon while Zimbabwe dismisses the lockdowns.
This follows a meeting of the national coronavirus command council, a body set up in 2020 to co-ordinate the government’s response as the pandemic in South Africa.
SADC countries are seeing a rise in infections and an increasing death toll with South Africa being the hardest-hit country in Africa.
Currently some SADC countries has put in place midnight to 4am curfew and gatherings are limited to 100 to 250 indoors and twice as many outside which can be reviewed downwards any time soon .
According to the SADC countries Covid-19 reports, a third wave will occur when the seven-day moving average of new cases exceeds 25 % of the previous wave’s peak.
The daily infection rate topped 15 % on Wednesday, compared with an average of between 8% and 12 % for most of the year.
However, this is still lower than rates seen at the end of 2020, when daily infections topped 30% sparking a new round of restrictions, including an alcohol sales ban and the closure of beaches.
Ahead of the Easter holiday in April, the Sadc government took a softer stance.
Now there are discussions on prohibiting alcohol sales with the previous bans caused much controversy, cost the industry 5 billions of dollars and damaged relations with the government.
The new wave of infections comes as Sadc countries vaccination drive finally gets off the ground in earnest, though the slow pace has led to questions about whether it would blunt a new wave of infections during the winter months.
Sadc countries has a target to reach 60 % of the population by the end of 2021 to achieve so-called herd immunity.