Ramaphosa to meet with National Coronavirus Command Council on Saturday

The meeting was initially set to take place on Sunday, where the Council would assess developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the newly detected variant, but it was brought forward.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the nation on 11 July 2021. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with the National Coronavirus Command Council on Saturday.

This comes amid growing concerns over the recent spike in new infections in South Africa and the discovery of the Omicron variant.

The meeting was initially set to take place on Sunday, where the Council would assess developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the newly detected variant, but it was brought forward.

The US is the latest country to bar travel to and from several Southern African countries.

The ban comes into effect from Monday.

The National Command Council is set to meet on Saturday amid a raging debate over the international community’s reaction to the discovery of the omicron variant.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla has however described the move as premature and unjustified.

A number of countries including the UK, Germany, Italy and Singapore have imposed travel bans on South Africa after the discovery of the new variant.

In a statement – Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the outcomes of Saturday’s meeting would give direction on whether further consultation would be required at the level of the president’s coordinating council.

This comes as the already battered tourism industry braces for further losses – as tighter lockdown restrictions loom.

READ: WHO says COVID-19 strain discovered in SA is a “variant of concern”