South Africa News

Stricter lockdown measures planned for South Africa?

South Africa may announce more stringent lockdown measures in the coming days to curb a resurgence of coronavirus infections and the spread of a new variant, people familiar with the matter said.

The National Coronavirus Command Council met Saturday to discuss possible measures, while weighing the impact any moves will have on the economy, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public. Among the options being considered are ways to try and boost the nation’s vaccination rate, they said.

Tyrone Seale, spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, declined to comment beyond a statement issued on Friday in which the presidency said that the outcome of the NCCC meeting will help determine whether further consultations are required at the level of the President’s Coordinating Council..

South African scientists this week identified the new variant, known as omicron, setting off alarm bells around the world. The U.K. led nations in introducing travel bans on South Africa and its neighbors, posing a threat to the nation’s tourism industry, which accounts for 7% of economic output. The European Union, U.S. and much of the world has followed.

Government officials have criticized the travel ban. Only about a third of South African adults are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The number of new coronavirus cases more than tripled this week to 2,465 on Friday, according to the Health Department. The proportion of positive tests rose to 9.2% from 6.5% a day earlier, National Institute for Communicable Diseases data shows.

Source: mybroadband

In other news – Miss SA Lalela Mswane to compete for Miss Universe despite travel ban

Miss South Africa Lalela Mswane announced that she will still be competing in the Miss Universe pageant despite the travel ban, via an Instagram post today (27 November).

Lalela Mswane

Israel banned travel to and from South Africa after a new COVID-19 variant was detected in the country. Learn more

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