The North Gauteng High Court has issued a court order prohibiting government from forcing those who test positive for Covid-19 into state quarantine facilities if they are able to self-isolate.
The case was brought by AfriForum against Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and is the second case in two days rendering regulations proclaimed by the minister to be illegal.
The application referred to regulations 6 and 7 of the regulations published by Dlamini-Zuma on 29 April, which allowed government to force a positive patient into a state quarantine facility.
The court has now, however, said that a person is “only required to be quarantined or isolated at a state facility, or other designated quarantine site; when that person is unable to self-quarantine or self-isolate, or refuses to do so, or violates the self-quarantine or self-isolation rules.
Additionally and according to the judgment, in order to successfully self-quarantine or self-isolate, a person requires access to a separate room where the person should self isolate. No one else must sleep in or spend time in the designated self-isolation room.Lastly, the order dictates that the person must be able to contact or return to a health facility if their condition worsens.
AfriForum’s Ernst Roets described the ruling as a “a big win for justice and freedom”.
Government’s power to force people into state isolation facilities got plenty of criticism, when two Limpopo-based doctors were forced to leave their home where they were self-isolating and be quarantined at the TB Hospital in Modimolle after testing positive for Covid-19 in April.
More to follow.