Prez Ramaphosa urges citizens to be prepared as COVID-19 deaths in S Africa nears 1,000

By: PTI | Johannesburg |

Published: June 9, 2020 9:35:33 am

President Cyril Ramaphosa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged the citizens to be prepared rather than alarmed as the deaths caused by the coronavirus in the country neared the 1,000 mark. Ramaphosa’s call came on Monday as experts warned that the country should expect a huge spike in COVID-19 infections in the coming weeks.

University of the Witwatersrand vaccinology professor Shabir Madhi earlier expressed concern that the Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces should prepare for a big wave of infection, similar to what has been happening in Western Cape Province.

“Most people must have noticed that the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Africa has been rising fast. More than a half of all cases since the start of the outbreak were recorded in the last two weeks,” Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter on Monday.

“Sadly, we are likely to record the 1,000th death from this devastating disease,” he added. South Africa has so far reported 50,879 cases of coronavirus. He said there was a need to be prepared and not alarmed as the cases and deaths of coronavirus were on rise.

“As we watch the number of infections rise further, probably far faster than most of us imagined, we should be concerned, but not alarmed. That is because we have the ability, as individuals, communities and as a country, to limit the impact of the disease on our people,” he said.

Ramaphosa said that while it was gratifying to note that people were observing the advice to wash hands regularly and wear face masks when going out, social distancing in public place is still a major challenge.

He also called on every household to look at how they could protect elderly people and those with underlying conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, and cancer, TB or HIV.

“Do plan for the possibility that someone in the family may become infected and whether you will be able to isolate them from family members until they are better. If not, find out where the closest government quarantine site is. You should also plan ahead for what to do if someone gets sick,” the President advised.


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