The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says it is concerned about reports that the National Coronavirus Advisory Council has advised the government to place the country on either alert level two or three lockdown regulations to avoid the spread of the virus over the Easter weekend.

It says all the churches are looking forward to celebrating Easter which they did not do last year due to stringent lockdown regulations.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says strict precautionary measures will be taken over the Easter weekend to prevent potential coronavirus super spreader events.

Mkhize’s statement comes as experts advised the government to put the country under a stricter lockdown level for the Easter weekend.

They have warned that the third wave of COVID-19 infections could hit South Africa after the holiday period.

South Africa will mark one year on Friday since the country was placed under hard lockdown.

Mkhize says it is crucial to take safety measures, particularly over the holiday period.

Watch the video below for the full interview with the minister:

Cancellation of Easter church service

Meanwhile, Archbishop Daniel Mathe of the St. Johns Apostolic Faith Mission Church of South Africa, says with the imminent threat of the third wave after Easter, the church has decided to cancel their Good Friday service in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus.

“What we are saying is that we cannot hold Easter because of this disease, it kills. It is very dangerous. That is why we have cancelled the Good Friday (service); we are only having the Sunday prayer.”

South Africa has recorded more than 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus and more than 52 000 deaths – a number expected to increase if social behaviour is not altered, especially heading into the Easter weekend.