President Cyril Ramaphosa is likely to address the nation on Sunday evening, to update the public on the spiralling COVID-19 crisis. Over 13 000 infections were recorded in a single day on Saturday, as the devastating effects of the disease rip through the population – and it may result in a return of curfew.
A reintroduction of the night-time curfew, tightening regulations on the sale of alcohol, limiting movement between provinces and enforcing a limited load in minibus taxis and other modes of public transport are on the cards.
His address, the first since June 17 when he announced the move to advanced level 3, comes after a meeting of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the cabinet, and lengthy consultations with the government’s scientific advisers.
It also comes amid mounting worry about the pandemic’s alarming trajectory in SA, and a growing sense in government circles that existing lockdown regulations are being flouted with impunity by the public.
The NCCC met on Thursday to discuss these and other proposals from the Gauteng provincial government, as it seeks to contain rising numbers that have made the province SA’s new epicentre of the virus. The cabinet met on Friday to deliberate further.
But a proposal for an intermittent lockdown where certain parts of a province go into a tighter lockdown while others remain under advanced level 3 – depending on the rate of infections – has been shot down.
Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko confirmed that the president will address the nation tonight, but would not say what he is likely to announce and ut no time or other details have been shared yet.