President Ramaphosa to address the nation on new lockdown restrictions

President Ramaphosa | Image: GCIS

During a post-cabinet briefing on Thursday (27 May), acting minister in the presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa will soon a ‘family meeting’ to address the growing number of Covid-19 cases as well as new lockdown measures that will be put in place to curb the spread.

According to Ntshavheni, there is a growing concern among Ramaphosa’s cabinet about the rise in cases, hospitalisations and covid-19 related deaths. Ntshavheni confirmed that the cabinet was discussing further lockdown measures with health officials.

“We are as cabinet discussing and consulting on the measures to make sure that we protect South Africans. A decision will be taken soon after the consultations and we will announce the date on which the president will hold the family meeting. We can confirm to South Africans that there will be a family meeting soon.”

Earlier this week, The Department of Health made its recommendations to introduce further lockdown restrictions in a National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC). Current reports circulating indicate that possible new lockdown restrictions will focus mainly on limiting gatherings, an extended national evening curfew and possible alcohol restrictions.

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Recent data published by the department of health shows a 17% increase in hospitalisations compared to the seven days prior. A total of 3,084 new cases have been reported, taking the total reported to 1,640,932. Deaths have reached 55,976, with recoveries 1,543,951 leaving the country with 41,005 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered so far is 700,904.

In a statement on Sunday, Alan Winde said that The Western Cape provincial government is actively preparing for an influx of new Covid-19 cases as a third wave hits the country and that (based on current trajectories) the province is likely to enter its third wave in two to three weeks time.

Gauteng premier David Makhura, however, confirmed that his province officially entered into its third wave more than a week ago, with the Free State and the Eastern Cape announcing the same.

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In a webinar on Thursday (27 May), The Western Cape health department put forward its proposed lockdown restrictions. Head of the WC health department, Keith Cloete said that flattening the curve of infections during the country’s third wave will be vital to vaccination rollout plans. Some of the main restrictions recommended by his department include a limit on gathering sizes, longer curfew times and some restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

The department also suggested ramping up mask compliance and limiting travel to and from areas that are considered hotspots.

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