By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will speak in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday (11 November) at 20h00.
Ramaphosa is expected to provide an update on the government's strategies to manage the coronavirus pandemic.
South Africa's overall coronavirus statistics show that the country is doing 'incredibly well’ in its response to the pandemic, and there is no need for concern, says chairperson of the Covid-19 Ministerial Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim.
Karim said that while new daily infections may be coming in quite high, it was important not to look at daily coronavirus statistics – which may show variations – but rather to look at the statistics across a seven-day average.
"If you look at a seven-day average, we have been pretty steady and going reasonably well. We had a bit of an incline but it has (now) settled down and the situation now is that we have local transmission at a pretty local level."
Karim said that the country has seen some outbreaks in recent weeks – particularly in parts of the Eastern Cape. However, he said that these outbreaks appear to be under control following an initial spike in infections.
He said that that his advice at this stage of the epidemic is to continue with the current lockdown restrictions as they are.
“We are at this stage in a pretty good position overall in the epidemic, there is no need for us to change anything in my view. There is a problem, which is December – when December comes, people are going to move around a lot and this virus loves movement.”
However, Karim said that a bigger problem is that South Africans are growing increasingly complacent in their response to the dangers of the coronavirus.
He said that people are dropping their guard and not wearing their masks – a phenomenon not unique to South Africa, as the entire world faces ‘pandemic fatigue’.
Karim said that this fatigue, combined with increased movement, drinking and partying during the December holidays is cause for concern.
Meanwhile the national state of disaster is expected to lapse this Sunday following another one-month extension in October by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
The state of national disaster was declared by government on 15 March under Section 27 (1) and (2) of the Disaster Management Act, in an attempt to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The Presidency has also confirmed Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Wednesday.
PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS THE NATION ON DEVELOPMENTS IN #COVID19 RESPONSE— Presidency | South Africa ?? (@PresidencyZA) November 11, 2020
President @CyrilRamaphosa will address the nation at 20h00 today, Wednesday, 11 November 2020, on South Africa’s response to the #coronavirus pandemic. #StaySafe pic.twitter.com/JHboo30Att
The cumulative number of detected COVID-19 cases in South Africa now sits at 740 254,with the total number of COVID-19 related deaths to 19 951.