South Africa president denies country is going back to higher lockdown level

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FILE PHOTO: South African President and AU Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham -/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: South African President and AU Chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham -/File Photo

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has dismissed reports that the country is planning to move to a higher COVID-19 lockdown level.

This comes after Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize warned last week that the country’s epidemiological reports indicate an increase in new cases.

While South Africa is currently on the lowest Alert Level 1, earlier reports suggested stricter restrictions may be put in place.

Responding to questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Ramaphosa denied that the country is going back to a higher lockdown level. However he added that there are worrying signs that South Africans are not adhering to protective measures, like wearing masks and social distancing.

The president noted that this was particularly concerning as the country approaches the December holiday period, when many people are expected to let their guard down. He says he will address the nation next week on what is to happen next.

South Africa currently has 716,759 coronavirus cases.

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