Deputy Director General at the Department of Health, Dr Anban Pillay says people need to heed the warnings of President Cyril Ramaphosa, as COVID-19 is still among us.
He was reacting to the President’s address to the nation on Wednesday, where he spoke about the state of the virus in South Africa.
The video below is the President’s address:
While there was no movement to a higher lockdown level, the President did reiterate the importance of using masks, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing.
Dr Pillay says what’s currently happening in Europe is an indicator of what could eventually happen here.
“The COVID-19 infection is by no means over. There are still clusters of infection across various areas of the country. We need to remain vigilant and make sure that these clusters don’t spread. Given that the spread of these clusters will result in us having more widespread infections.”
“I think the President referenced what is happening currently in Europe, which is an important indicator of what could happen here if we fail to adhere to the preventative measures – not having large gatherings etc,” adds Pillay.
Preventing a resurgence
Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa says as long as people observe all the necessary health protocols and remaining restrictions, there is no need to go back to higher lockdown levels.
He says the international community has commended the country for how it handled the pandemic.
However, he says in order to prevent a resurgence in cases, attention must be given to certain areas, including the Eastern Cape. The province recorded 50% more cases last week than it did the previous week.
“And the total number of new cases in the last 14 days was around 145% higher than the previous 14 days. These increases are being driven by massive spikes in the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Sarah Baartman District in particular,” says the President.
Ramaphosa says poor adherence to social distancing, wearing masks and poor hygiene will allow for rising infections.
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