Tuesday, 30 March 2021 15:01

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 19h00 on Tuesday (30 March) to discuss on developments in relation to the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The address follows meetings in recent days of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC), the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC), and cabinet.

"As South Africa rolls out its national Covid-19 vaccination programme, government and social partners are continuously monitoring infection, treatment and patient recovery rates, as well as compliance with health regulations and other prevention measures," the presidency said.

The president’s address will be broadcast and streamed on a range of platforms that are accessible to South Africans and international audiences.

Because the third wave of Covid-19 exists only as a threat for now – with new infections and active cases still low – members of the NCCC have reportedly been pushing back against any proposed restrictions that may disrupt their portfolios.

The lockdown restrictions being considered include:

  • Adjusting curfew – extending it from either 22h00 or 23h00 to 04h00;
  • Restricting alcohol trade – from Monday to Thursday, 10h00 to 18h00;
  • Limiting gatherings to 50 people.

The alcohol industry has warned against any restrictions on the sale of alcohol, arguing that measures should only be considered if there is pressure on hospitals.

Health experts have warned about the threat of a third wave of infections in South Africa since the country went into eased lockdown level 1 in February, projecting that a swell in infections should become evident as the country approaches winter.

While the typical modelling points to a May/June start for a third wave, super-spreader events as a result of Easter celebrations threaten to bring that forward, with some models showing the wave as early as April.

While small cluster outbreaks are being recorded, the national Covid-19 infection data is not yet showing a sharp turn.