Friday, January 28, 2022
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Ramaphosa to address nation in the next hour

President Cyril Ramaphosa will on Sunday evening address the nation on the Covid-19 situation. It is expected that Ramaphosa will announce changes to alert levels. The address is scheduled to begin at 8pm on Sunday.

The president’s address follows meetings of the National Coronavirus Command Council, the President’s Co-ordinating Council and Cabinet.

A number of countries including the UK and in the EU have imposed a travel ban on South Africa after the discovery of Omicron.

But Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla and other scientists said this decision was premature and unjustified.

They said South Africa was doing what was in line with the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols.

Phaahla said despite the conduct of these countries to ban South African visitors because of the variant they would remain transparent in their work.

They would continue to work with the WHO and other bodies in the fight against Covid-19.

The various sectors of the economy are already bracing themselves for more stricter curbs ahead of the festive break.

On Friday, WHO said the number of cases of the new variant, initially named B.1.1.529, appeared to be increasing in almost all of South Africa’s provinces. “This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning.”

The organisation said “the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9” and it would take a few weeks to understand the impact of the new variant. 

IOL

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