Ramaphosa calls urgent NCCC meeting as Covid cases continue to surge

 ·5 Jan 2021

South Africa’s National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) will meet on Wednesday morning (6 January) – ahead of schedule – as the country continues to grapple with a second coronavirus wave.

The NCCC was initially only expected to meet next week Monday to review regulations around the adjusted level 3 lockdown, which are set to continue until at least 15 January.

Government spokesperson Phumla Williams confirmed that the meeting will now be convened at 09h00 on Wednesday, but indicated that the president may not necessarily address the nation following its conclusion.

Williams previously said that a meeting would not be called earlier than scheduled unless there was a change in South Africa’s Covid-19 situation.

The surprise announcement comes as South Africa recorded 12,601 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total reported to 1,113,349.

Deaths have reached 30,011, with another large daily increase of 434 new fatalities, while recoveries have climbed to 911,573, leaving the country with a balance of 171,765 active cases.

Messages spread on popular social media platforms WhatsApp and Facebook this week stating that that the NCCC was looking to introduce a seven-day level 5 lockdown to help the country cope with a second wave.

However, Williams dismissed the claims, saying that the messages circulating on social media about a return to a harder lockdown were untrue.

Adjusted level 3

On 28 December 2020, the president announced that South Africa would move to an adjusted level 3 with immediate effect.

The adjusted level 3 regulations were gazetted on 29 December 2020 and contain further restrictions and stricter penalties for non-compliance with a view to curbing the spread of the virus while retaining a functioning economy insofar as possible.

In addition to new curfew hours and further limitations on gatherings, the president announced a complete ban on the sale of alcohol. He had previously said that these regulations would be reviewed on 15 January.

Read: The new rules for gyms and exercising under lockdown level 3 in South Africa

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