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Picture: 123RF/PERIG76
Picture: 123RF/PERIG76

A crucial meeting of the national coronavirus command council has been brought forward to Saturday, the presidency announced on Friday night.

The meeting had been scheduled for Sunday amid rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases across the country, particularly in Gauteng.

The sharp rise in cases is believed to be driven by the newly identified B.1.1.529 Covid-19 variant, which was given the name Omicron by the World Health Organisation on Friday.

According to the presidency, the coronavirus command council will “assess developments in the Covid-19 pandemic, including scientific updates around the newly detected coronavirus variant”.

“The outcomes of this meeting will give direction as to whether further consultation is required at the level of the President’s Co-ordinating Council (PCC).

“Government urges all South Africans to vaccinate and to remain disciplined in applying the known safety measures, to ensure a safe and joyful festive season with families and friends,” the presidency statement read.

In the same statement, the presidency also confirmed that home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi had tested positive for Covid-19.

“Minister Motsoaledi remains in good health and he is currently in self-isolation,” said minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele.

TimesLIVE

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