lockdown restrictions new variant b.1.1.529

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: GCIS

Lockdown Level 2? Ramaphosa speaks on ‘looming’ tighter restrictions

It’s only a matter of time before President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on the latest efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19

lockdown restrictions new variant b.1.1.529

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: GCIS

Government has confirmed earlier in the week that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation “very soon” on the latest efforts to combat the further spread of COVID-19. Now as South Africans wait with bated breath for the “family meeting,” Ramaphosa has said that as government, their sole focus for the moment is limiting transmissions and alleviate its undoubtedly devastating effects, particularly with the third wave looming.

Delivering the virtual address at the ANC’s nineth Northern Cape provincial conference, Ramaphosa hinted at tighter lockdown restrictions for the country, on Saturday, 29 May 2021.

“Indications are that our country is entering the third wave as the Covid-19 infections are just going up and we must do everything in our power to mitigate this. We once again have to remind South Africans to be vigilant and protect themselves and each other,” said Ramaphosa.

When will Ramaphosa address the nation?

While the past year has taught us that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s addresses may not necessarily mean he’ll be announcing the easing or intensifying of lockdown restrictions, the latest developments on the COVID-19 front prompt stricter measures on government’s part.

In the previous week, the country saw a dramatic spike in COVID-19 infections, with at least 4 000 cases being recorded for four consecutive days. Added onto that is the B.1.617.2 variant from India variant of the respiratory disease having been detected. While government has consistently said that the B.1.351 variant, discovered in the Eastern Cape, remains the dominant one among cases, the extent of the India variant’s spread in the country is yet to be determined.

In addition to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases, Ramaphosa also noted the high hospital admissions, which historically meant an alcohol ban.

“These provinces have seen a spike in infections during the last few weeks and hospital admissions tell us that the infection rate is high as admissions have been rising considerably. It has been reported that the provinces’ ICU capacity is under a great deal of stress”

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Ramaphosa has also emphasised the exercising of anti-preventative measures to keep safe and condemned the extent of corruption that has arisen, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There are some unscrupulous and inhumane individuals who used Covid-19 to steal from the people, law enforcement will continue to deal with these,” he said.