President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Sunday, on developments in the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, acting spokesperson to the president, Tyron Seale confirmed in a statement on Sunday afternoon.
The president’s address follows meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council and Cabinet.
The NCCC met on Saturday to assess developments in the Covid-19 pandemic, including scientific updates around the newly detected coronavirus variant, which has been named Omicron by the World Health Organization.
The president’s address will be broadcast and streamed on a range of platforms that are accessible to South Africans and international audiences.
The Omicron variant has gripped the world in the space of a few days, and has since been classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization.
The travel ban and widespread restrictions on South Africa and other African countries due to the discovery of this new coronavirus variant has so far branched out to include 30 regions.
Thousands of tourists descended on O.R. Tambo International Airport on Saturday evening trying to get back to their home countries. Many were seeking tickets to fly via other African nations such as Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo – which have not yet blacklisted South Africa.
Are stricter lockdown regulations on the cards?
The country is currently on adjusted level 1 lockdown, which has eased restrictions on gatherings and people’s movements.
Now, with the festive season approaching, social gatherings – including events – during this time may be potential super spreaders.
There has been an increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in the country.
South Africa on Saturday recorded 3,220 new cases, 392 more than the 2,828 cases reported on Friday.
This brings the country’s laboratory-confirmed cases to almost three million.
South Africa’s positivity rate is currently at 9.2%.
Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde