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Will President Ramaphosa announce stricter COVID-19 regulations tonight?

The president is due to address the nation at 8pm following a special sitting of Cabinet that considered recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - With President Cyril Ramaphosa set to address the nation at 8pm on how the government is responding to the flare-up of COVID-19 infections, speculation is rife that there will be stricter regulations to curb the spread of the virus going into the festive season.

The address follows a special sitting of Cabinet that considered recommendations of the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).

Earlier this week the council reportedly agreed that a 10 pm curfew should be imposed in hotspots and had also decided to restrict alcohol sales to four days a week, while taverns and bars should close at 9 pm.

However, there has been no final government decision on this.

The country is again scrambling to contain infections after flare-ups were reported in the Eastern and the Western Cape.

READ: National govt to map way forward to curb rising COVID-19 infections in WC

While another abrupt national hard lockdown seems impossible, considering the social and economic impact, region-specific regulations, however, are likely on the cards.

A curfew and a partial ban on alcohol sales over weekends are part of the submissions that have been made to Ramaphosa and the NCCC.

These measures aim to curb the spread of coronavirus infections in hotspots amid fears that if the new cluster outbreaks are not contained, it will only be a matter of time before the uptick hits the whole country.

The president’s address also comes as the country recorded over 4,000 cases with 24 hours this week, the highest in recent months.

South Africa has the highest number of infections on the continent and is the 16th most-affected country globally.

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