President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his condolences to the families of the more than 1000 people who have died of COVID-19, saying each COVID-19 death is a tragedy to the country.
South Africa’s COVID19-related deaths increased by 82, the highest recorded in 24 hours since the outbreak in the country.
The Health Department says the national COVID-19 death toll stands at 1080, while the number of COVID-19 infections now stands at 50 879.
Ramaphosa says in the weeks and months ahead, the government will continue to take action to safeguard South Africans from the virus.
He said, “The government has used the lockdown period to build capacity of the health system by increasing hospital and quarantine beds, securing adequate medical supplies and PPEs and preparing the country for an increase in infections.”
He also warned that if the situation gets out of control, the government will impose higher alert levels in areas where there is a rapid increase of infections.
The President urged all South Africans to protect themselves and others by wearing masks when in public, keep a social distance and wash hands regularly.
Over 400 000 deaths have now been recorded across the world, making this one of the most devastating pandemics in the last century.
Despite more than half of all cases since the start of the outbreak being recorded in the last two weeks, President Ramaphosa laments the lack of social distancing in some public places.
Political Analyst Ralph Mathekga concurs saying some people appear to be in denial about the seriousness of the disease.
“In some areas, you see people going around without masks and so forth. I do think that in some sense there is a sense of denial. I do understand that in certain areas it is difficult to maintain social distancing, but in some areas, you do hear and see movement that one questions. If people are in denial about the reality of this there is more that needs to be done just in terms of the messaging and information around this particularly since it appears that we will have to live with this for months to come.”
Mathekga says it is important at this stage of the steepening curve that citizens catch a wake-up call.
“It is high time that government gave people a sense of reality about what is coming because what has happened in the earlier weeks of the lockdown, government was not really forthright about the figures that were coming about when it came down to projected infection rate, projected death rate and so forth. So, for the president to come forth and say this is the reality, this was always going to be the reality of what they are facing, but we still need to be prepared.”
Ramaphosa says the government will keep doing its part in strengthening its capacity to deal with the disease, specifically saying that the Western Cape, the country’s epicenter will need an integrated strategy that incorporates all spheres of government to increase bed capacity, additional funding and health personnel.
Political Analyst Ralph Mathekga on President Ramaphosa’s comment:
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