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First COVID-19 family meeting of 2021 set to take place tonight
National Coronavirus Command Council, the president's Coordination Council and Cabinet met to discuss developments and strategies ahead of Monday night's

National Coronavirus Command Council, the president's Coordination Council and Cabinet met to discuss developments and strategies ahead of Monday night's address at 8 pm.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa on 6 March 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has announced on Monday that President Cyril Ramaphosa would address the country on developments around the coronavirus pandemic.

The national state of disaster, which has been extended every 30 days since its announcement and in line with the law since COVID-19 hit our shores, will come to an end on 15 January 2020. The president is expected to make an announcement on this, as well as address the country on possible further lockdown restrictions or lifting of rules.

National Coronavirus Command Council, the president's Coordination Council and Cabinet met to discuss developments and strategies ahead of Monday night's address at 8 pm.

"President Ramaphosa also hosted a virtual engagement on Sunday, 10 January 2020, between government and interfaith leaders on the COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy, which is an inclusive national effort that enables adaptive responses to the shifting pandemic," the Presidency said through a statement.

"This engagement focused on the unfolding pandemic in the country and on the continent, including efforts to secure vaccines for all."

Representatives from the provinces met on Sunday to discuss the growing number of COVID infections and the response to the progress of the pandemic.

South Africa has had more than 21,000 new cases of COVID confirmed in the past 24 hours and 399 new deaths due to the virus.

In an interview with the SABC on Saturday, Ramaphosa acknowledged government was concerned about the intensity of the second wave.

As the command council and Cabinet review lockdown restrictions, the South African Medical Association (Sama) on Sunday argued against a move to a higher lockdown level.

Sama’s Dr Angelique Coetzee said: “The only thing you can add to lockdown level 3 is to say between 10 and 20 people is the most that can gather together, no matter where you are or what you are doing. Also, it doesn’t help to go into lockdown level 5, but you can’t even make sure that the restrictions you put into lockdown level 3 aren’t being adhered to.”

Meanwhile, in KwaZulu-Natal's COVID infections are still rising alarmingly. KZN currently has just under 90,000 active cases, which is by far the most in the country.

The Western Cape's modelling had predicted the peak of the second wave towards the end of this week and the province's head of health Keith Cloete on Saturday said there were early indications that numbers were stabilising.

But as the Western Cape deals with the second wave, he warned against complacency, saying a third wave might not be far behind.

“There are two things that have become evident this week, firstly, that there is the introduction of a new vaccine – that will play a role. But it is also clear from international experience that there are risks of a third wave and we should be mindful and be preparing for that.”

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