Government has urged South Africans to remain vigilant and to exercise all Covid-19 precautions while scientists investigate the newly identified B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant.
South Africa is again on the UK’s flight ban list amid the news of the new variant which has also been detected in Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel.
On Sunday President Cyril Ramaphosa will convene the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) amid scientists working to determine the spread of the new variant and whether current vaccines are effective against it.
The NCCC determines the way forward during the pandemic, based on science and recommendations from the economic and social sectors.
Government is urging all those who have not vaccinated to do so to make sure that they protect themselves against Covid-19.
“Alongside vaccination, the wearing of face masks, frequent washing or sanitation of hands, keeping a social distance and the avoidance of gatherings remain a proven, effective means of stopping or slowing the spread of coronavirus infection," the Presidency says.
Government says it is working with social partners to strike a balance between protecting and saving lives, and enabling people to earn a living and making it possible for the broader economy to recover and grow.