As the Easter weekend approaches, many people are anticipating that government will make an announcement on the possibility of imposing new lockdown restrictions on the country.
This as fears mount that religious and social gatherings could become coronavirus super-spread events.
With a third wave of coronavirus infections looming, members of the public have mixed views on the possible imposition of tighter restrictions:
President of the South African National Christian Forum Bishop Mashabane is adamant that Easter gatherings are not likely to become super-spreader events.
“We have advised all the church leaders to hold their celebrations or the services of Easter just like they have been conducting their normal Sunday services. So that means they are not going to bring a huge number of people to the same place. We even advised our members not to prepare lunch. Normally we respect our celebrations from Thursday until Sunday, camping in the same place,” says Bishop Mashabane.
Decision on Easter restrictions
Government says it will soon make an announcement on whether or not to ease restrictions on the size of congregations ahead of the upcoming Easter, Passover and Ramadan holidays.
In his letter to the nation on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa says the matter is being deliberated on following a request by a number of religious organisations.
He says while every effort must be made to support the right to religious freedom, this must not place the rights or the lives of others at risk.
In light of the threat of a third wave of the coronavirus, Ramaphosa has encouraged religious communities to continue to innovate in the holding of congregational worship.
SA COVID-19 stats
This takes the total number of cases in the country to 1 545 979.
With 47 more COVID-19-related deaths reported, the national death toll now stands at 52 710.
The recovery rate is at 1 472 710.
The graphic below provides a comprehensive look at the country’s COVID-19 statistics:
-Additional reporting by Busi Chimombe