Ramaphosa Hints At 'Family Meeting' Happening Soon

Amid the rapidly rising number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa despite the adjusted alert level 3 lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa hints that a national address will be taking place soon. 

South Africa moved to an adjusted alert level 3 lockdown in late December last year after the country surpassed the one million mark of Covid-19 cases. Despite this the country is still reaching record high numbers of new postive Covid-19 cases. 

The country hit a new infection record with 21 980 positive Covid-19 cases reported within 24 hours. For the past three days reports have shown that that new positive cases have been above 20 000. 

The new variant of the coronavirus found in South Africa has caused the virus to spread rapidly as it is more easily transmissible. 

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika political editor Sbu Ngalwa on Saturday, President Ramaphosa confirmed that he would address the nation soon on the next steps to be taken by his government.

The adjusted level 3 lockdown expires on 15 January and the Sunday Times reports that the President had called a meeting with the National Coronavirus Command Council on Wednesday this week as the number of cases continued to increase. 

"We are looking at that [address to the nation], the National Coronavirus Command Council is going to be meeting. We are going to meet with our provinces as early as tomorrow and thereafter, we are going to make a determination on how best we move forward. At the right time, that will then be announced to our people,” said Ramaphosa.

The meeting to discuss the lockdown restrictions will take place on 10 January. 

Many fear that the country will be placed under a stricter level of lockdown, like alert level 5, as the current restrictions have prohibited the sale of alcohol, public indoor and outdoor gatherings except for funerals and a curfew between 9pm and 6am was introduced. This however did not seem to curb the spread of the virus. 

The African National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partners, after a meeting this week, have said that they are against a move to level 5, which will effectively close down the economy.

The President has said that South Africans must keep up with the safety protocols and protective measures such as wearing a mask, washing or sanitizing their hands regularly and maintaining social distancing in public. 

It remains unclear what regulations the President will be putting into place in the next national address. 

 

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