Coronavirus council to meet on Wednesday

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams says the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet on Wednesday at 9am.

This as the country anticipates President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address as the number of cases continues to rise, with the country having recorded more that one million cases and more than 30,000 deaths, reports The Citizen.

Williams’s announcement comes after a message circulating on social media claimed the NCCC would meet to discuss stricter regulations following calls from hospitals and healthcare workers.

The message read in part: “South Africa is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic and things are now from bad to worse. Some countries are also imposing bans on flight from South Africa.

“It’s believed that the President will take South Africa to level 5 of the lockdown for a period of 7 days starting tomorrow midnight. It’s a total lockdown for a week. Hospitals are overwhelmed by trauma and Covid-19 cases, continued our source from the Presidency.”

Social media was abuzz with speculations of another hard lockdown as the cases continue to rise. However, Williams dismissed the message as fake news and said: “There is no planned NCCC meeting which usually precedes President addressing the nation.”

According to Williams, Wednesday’s NCCC meeting would be a “regular” one, “as we commence the year”.

The meeting does not necessarily mean Ramaphosa will address the nation, she added.

Ramaphosa announced last month that the country was moving back to adjusted level 3 lockdown that had seen all social gatherings, including faith-based gatherings, being banned for the first two weeks of January.

No more than 50 people may attend funerals, announced Ramaphosa.

He also announced that citizens could now face fines and even jail time for not wearing masks in public.

Vhahangwele Nemakonde