South African Leader to Speak Amid Reports Lockdown to Tighten


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8 p.m. on Sunday, amid reports the government is considering tightening lockdown regulations.

The president will provide an update on “developments in South Africa’s risk-adjusted strategy to manage the spread of Covid-19,” the presidency said in a statement sent by mobile phone. The speech follows a number of meetings of the cabinet, the National Coronavirus Command Council and the President’s Coordinating Council, it said.

Ramaphosa’s administration may reintroduce tighter regulations on the movement of people, including a possible curfew, and curb sales of alcohol as coronavirus infections soar, the Johannesburg-based Sunday Times reported earlier.

While South Africa’s virus infections are soaring, the government has eased lockdown rules to open up an economy that’s forecast to shrink 7% this year. The number of virus infections stands at 264,184, with almost 4,000 deaths, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Saturday.

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