Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla says the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) is holding further discussions in response to the Omicron variant.

On Saturday, the NCCC met to deliberate on the matter, sparking rumours of an imminent hard lockdown. Several countries have imposed a travel ban to South Africa following the new strain.

Phaahla says consultations have also been extended to various stakeholders to make an informed decision.

“Will hear from the Presidency as to when they will be ready to make announcement of all these processes. The various stakeholders have been very public in terms of their concerns so as we enter into these meetings we are taking into considerations all those concerns but also as a proposal come related to what are the options because the fact of the matter is that the infection rate is rising we need to be conscious of that.”

Health Minister Joe Phaahla on NCCC outcomes as the nation awaits anxiously:

Citizens waiting on NCCC meeting’s outcomes

Members of the public are anxiously waiting to hear the outcome of the NCCC meeting amid speculation of a pending hard lockdown.

The South African government has accused a number of countries of over-reacting following an increase in travel bans.

Eight countries, including South Africa, have been affected because of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus which is threatening various sectors of the economy.

The Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.