President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm on Sunday evening. This will be after a special cabinet meeting has taken place to process the recommendations of the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) report.

This comes after a special National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) convened on Saturday to receive a report from scientists, on the prevalence of the Delta variant in South Africa.

85 countries, including several in Africa, have detected the variant that’s rapidly becoming dominant in many countries.

Speaking during a virtual briefing with the Acting Health Minister and other experts, on the current status of infections across the country, the Director of research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Tulio de Oliveira says this variant is spreading rapidly.

South Africa is the worst-hit country on the continent in terms of confirmed COVID-19 infections and deaths.

According to research, the most prominent current symptoms are headache, sore throat, runny nose and sneezing.

 

In a statement, GCIS Director-General, Phumla Williams says NATJOINTS will convene later Saturday afternoon to propose recommendations on the country’s response to both the Delta variant and the continued surge in COVID-19 infections.

South Africa on Friday recorded 18 762 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 1 895 905. The Gauteng province accounted for the majority of the latest figures, with 11 777 new cases.

Gauteng health system under strain

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane says trends are clearly showing that other provinces are going to experience a surge in numbers of COVID-19 infections, as currently being experienced by Gauteng. She has once again expressed concerns about the rising numbers of infections in Gauteng, adding that the health system in the province is under strain.

Acting Health Minister briefs media on COVID-19 update

Tighter restrictions might be needed

Meanwhile, the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, says if the transmission rates and the number of infections are to be reduced in the country, tighter restrictions are needed.

The committee has highlighted that the Delta variant is dominating new infection cases in the country.

Speaking during a virtual briefing, committee co-chairperson, Professor Koleka Mlisana says drastic measures should be implemented to curb the surge of cases.

We need to be very decisive and go to an extent of saying how do we then restrict the movement of persons and how are we going to do that and that needs to be done very urgently. It’s going to mean how do we then restrict even further gatherings probably we should be saying there should be no gatherings or whatsoever. What else can we do to reduce the transmission?

Infographic: COVID-19 cases in South Africa:

 

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