Family meeting not yet on the cards as cabinet extends state of disaster

02 September 2021 - 13:47
By Nonkululeko Njilo
Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele says the cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster. File photo.
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele says the cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster. File photo.

Minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele says the cabinet has approved the extension of the national state of disaster due to Covid-19. 

The extension to be gazetted is now until October 15.   

Gungubele said the move was in line with section 27 of the Disaster Management Act. 

Asked if the country would ease the lockdown restrictions in the near future, Gungubele was uncertain.

“It depends a lot on the rate of infections. Second, it depends on the degree to which our facilities are coping. Third, of course mainly, it depends on us sticking to non-pharmaceutical measures” he said. 

SA had administered more than 12,568,525 doses of Covid-19 vaccines by Tuesday, said Gungubele.

He attributed this to an increased number of vaccination sites, extended vaccination days and the provision of free transport by provinces, which would also result in a significant boost to the number of people who will be fully vaccinated.  

Gungubele said a “family meeting” to be addressed by President Cyril Ramaphosa was not yet on the cards because there was “nothing to share”.

“A family meeting will depend on what comes out on a given NCCC [national coronavirus command council] meeting. At that point, if there are new announcements, they determine whether the family meeting should take place or not. For instance, the current protocols are extended to October 15, so on that basis there is nothing to share with the family,” he said. 

Gungubele also used the briefing to encourage unvaccinated people to urgently get the jab to avoid the risk of developing severe illness. 

“Vaccines hold good benefits for our health as they prevent serious illness, hospitalisation and death. Let us fight the virus together by spreading verified information about vaccines provided by the department of health and World Health Organisation.” 

The vaccination of most people would also liberate the economy, he said.

“If you want to liberate the economy in this country, which is not doing nicely, it is very critical for freedom of movement in SA to be realised very quickly — and vaccination is the route to go so that we uplift those who are poor, deal with inequality and put our economy back on track.”

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