In an unscheduled media briefing on Saturday afternoon, the Health Department and scientists presented their latest research to the public that demonstrates the unwelcome arrival of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in South Africa. They went on to explain the impact of this on the medical outlook and how this will influence the vaccine programme. This may also impact the discussions about whether a harder lockdown will be coming.
The acting Health Minister has confirmed that her Department has proposed additional restrictions should be put in place to manage the pandemic. Because numbers are rising so high they have proposed additional restrictions should be put in place. However these can only be put in place after going through the correct channels and approved by the President.
The government's National Coronavirus Command Council will be meeting tomorrow (Sunday) so it is possible that additional restrictions may be introduced after that. If that is the case they will be announced by the President.
The Acting Health Minister ended the video presentation with a heartfelt plea to the country.
"We are pleading with you Gautengers - We are pleading with you South Africans! We can increase the restrictions but without you we cannot win this battle. We have reached a point where we need all of you to help us. We need all of you to help us bring the numbers down. It's not a joke!"
The government's spokesperson has confirmed that the President is expected to speak to the country again about the Covid-19 response on Sunday evening at 8pm.