Details of whether President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation this week are still unclear as the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) was expected to meet on Tuesday.
While the country is expecting a “family meeting” ahead of the Easter weekend, acting spokesperson for Ramaphosa, Tyrone Seale, said they would make an announcement once it was confirmed. We will make the announcement on the President’s address once we know, but for now, there has been no communication on this,” Seale said in a short phone call with IOL.
As the country nears the busy Easter weekend starting this Good Friday (April 2), there have been concerns that increased restrictions will be put in place to contain transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
The Easter period is considered peak season as more South Africans use the public holidays to travel, gather with loved ones and celebrate.
The country is expecting an alcohol ban, extended curfew, a beach ban and restricted gatherings – similar to that which was implemented at the end of December.
Last Friday marked exactly one year since the country was placed under hard lockdown after the Covid-19 outbreak gripped the country.
In a statement to mark the day, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said churches and other religious bodies had asked the government to lift restrictions ahead of Easter; however, the Ministerial Advisory Committee recommended an increase in restrictions to prevent superspreader events.
Ramaphosa said this phase in the pandemic required a society-wide effort to ensure the success of the vaccination campaign. He was speaking shortly after a meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee on Monday night.
Speaking on the vaccination campaign currently under way in the country, Ramaphosa reported that the NEC welcomed the progress made in the vaccination of healthcare workers in the country, “especially in light of the challenges in the emergence of a new variant”.
“The meeting agreed that the vaccination programme does need to be significantly accelerated and scaled up.
“The NEC called on all relevant government entities to work with social partners and other stakeholders to ensure that we urgently procure, distribute and administer sufficient vaccine doses to meet the country’s needs,” Ramaphosa said.
In other news – Nike sues company that made Satan Shoes with Lil Nas X
Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit Monday against the company that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.
The “Old Town Road” artist worked with MSCHF to release “Satan Shoes” on Monday. The sneakers are modified Nike Air Max 97s — decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven. Learn more