PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is today meeting premiers and local government leadership to discuss the National Coronavirus Command Council’s latest report.

The meeting, also to be attended by Deputy President David Mabuza, under the President Coordinating Council, takes place amid speculation that the country will be downgraded to alert level 1 this week.

Speculation has been rife that the country is headed for level 1 downgrade as the number of new cases and related deaths continued to fall.

For the past few weeks new cases have been hovering below 2 000 and last night the country registered the lowest number of related deaths at 20.

Even Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has recently admitted that the country was over the surge.

In a statement on Monday night Mkhize said his department would make recommendations to Cabinet to ease lockdown restrictions, such as those relating to the curfew, the sale of alcohol, religious gatherings and travel.

“Since 22 August, we have reported under 3 000 cases per day - at the height of the epidemic during the month of July, we would report anything between 10 000 and 15 000 cases per day.

“Supporting this decline is also a demonstrable decline in persons under investigation, general ward admissions, ICU admissions, deaths and excess deaths,” the minister said.

The Presidency in a statement on Monday night said: “The meeting is expected to deliberate on a report from the National Coronavirus Command Council on the country’s response to the pandemic.”

After this virtual meeting, Ramaphosa will also virtually chair a National Economic Development Labour Council meeting to finalise a national economic recovery plan.

The Presidency did not say when Ramaphosa was likely to address the nation in what has come to be known as the family meeting.