President Cyril Ramaphosa will call a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council in the coming week to discuss the possible implementation of stricter COVID-19 lockdown measures.
This is according to a report from The Sunday Times, which said the president will recall ministers and top officials who are part of the council from their festive breaks.
“I can confidently say that the meeting will be on Tuesday,” a government insider told the publication.
The revised regulations could include more curbs on the number of people allowed to gather at indoor and outdoor events, tighter limits on the movement of people, the closure of borders, and further restrictions on the sale of alcohol.
This development comes as Health Minister Zweli Mkhize this week warned that the government will need to review the current lockdown restrictions as COVID-19 infections have spiked.
“We must warn South Africans that we will need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures to ensure that we curb this alarming rate of spread,” he said.
“It will be important for us to evaluate the situation, identify hotspots in these areas and make recommendations based on these findings and the outcomes of what has been implemented in the hotspots that have been identified so far,” Mkhize explained.
Mkhize’s statement was made after the country reported over 14,000 new COVID-19 cases on 23 December.
Daily new cases of the virus increased in subsequent days with 14,305 reported on 24 December and 14,796 – the highest number yet – recorded by 25 December.
The sharp increase has been blamed partly on a new mutation of the virus – called 501Y.V2 – which appears to be more transmissible than the original variant.
Private and public hospitals in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the Western and Eastern Cape, have reported running out of ICU beds and oxygen in the last few days due to the surge.
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Source – Mybroadband