The Eastern Cape government has strongly condemned the holding of a large number of illegal social gatherings across the province as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic gets worse.

Many pictures and videos of large crowds have gone viral on social media. Spokesperson for the Premier, Mvusi Sicwetsha, says the provincial government is appealing to organisers to stick to lockdown regulations for indoor and outdoor events.

He says law enforcement will have to intervene.

“Some of these gatherings, we have noticed that people that are attending are over the number of people that should be allowed. We have also noticed that physical distance is not being maintained and also that people are not wearing masks and there is no sanitizing. We want to appeal to the people of our province that go to these events that proper arrangements are made for keeping physical distance from another person.”

Below are the latest coronavirus stats in SA: 

 

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Meanwhile, Deputy President David Mabuza says South Africans should not let down their guards against coronavirus as they celebrate the festive season.

Officials have expressed concerns over the rapid manner in which a new variant of the coronavirus transfers among people.

South Africa’s COVID-19 infections have increased to 968 563 cases with 14 305 new cases reported in the last 24 hours. 326 more COVID-19-related fatalities have been reported, bringing the total death toll to 25 983.

Mabuza addressed the nation ahead of Christmas Day.

“While significantly, progress has been made in containing the spread of infection during the first phase of the pandemic, the current resurgence and rise in infection continue to demand our collective commitment and adherence to all the COVID-19 protocols and regulations. We cannot afford as a nation to be complacent and let our guard down during this difficult period in our lives. As we celebrate Christmas with our families and friends we must at all times adhere to COVID-19 regulations.”

Deputy President David Mabuza’s Christmas message to South Africans: