Health Minister Phaahla Hints at Ban on Interprovincial Travel After Emergence of New Variant of COVID-19 & Spike in infections

Health Minister Joe Phaahla is not ruling out interprovincial travel restrictions following the emergence of a new variant of COVID-19 and the rapid rise in infections.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed the new variant called B.1.1.529 or Omicron had also been detected in Botswana and Hong Kong.

On Friday, South Africa recorded another 2,828 COVID-19 infections pushing the country’s known caseload since the start of the pandemic to more than 2,955,300. 

The increase represents a 9.1% positivity rate.

Phaahla, has hinted that a ban may be imposed on inter-provincial travel as Omicron continues to spread across the country.

“There might be some level of a proposal on restricting some element of movement.”

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa will meet with the National Coronavirus Command Council on Saturday amid growing concerns over the recent spike in new infections in South Africa and the discovery of the Omicron variant.

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