Sunday's Covid command council meeting will decide if you’ll be lonely this Christmas

26 November 2021 - 13:38 By TimesLIVE
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele says the national coronavirus command council will meet on Sunday.
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele says the national coronavirus command council will meet on Sunday.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

President Cyril Ramaphosa will chair a meeting of the national coronavirus command council on Sunday to discuss the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant in SA.

On Friday, minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele said the outcome of the meeting, as well as discussions in the president’s co-ordinating council and cabinet, would be communicated “in the coming days”.

He said “scientific evidence and submissions by different economic and social sectors [would] inform executive decision-making”.

But on Thursday, Gungubele appeared to rule out another hard lockdown that could wreck Christmas plans for families nationwide.

“We wish there must never be a possibility of locking down this country again. We are still dealing with the damage of 2020,” he told a media briefing after a cabinet meeting.

Sunday's command council meeting will hear from ministerial advisory committees drawing up recommendations after Thursday's announcement of the B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant, set to be named Nu at a World Health Organisation meeting on Friday.

Gungubele said SA's detection and sequencing of the variant, which has also been found in several other countries, “demonstrates SA’s constant vigilance and scientific capability in our management of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“The National Institute for Communicable Diseases is in intensive engagement with all established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be.

“While this work continues, South Africans must take all measures to protect themselves against coronavirus infection, beginning with vaccination against Covid-19.”

Gungubele said the government urged all South Africans to get vaccinated “and to remain disciplined in applying known safety measures to ensure a safe and joyful festive season with families and friends”.

TimesLIVE


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