Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 21:20Author: Sakinah Samuels
President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped up and hosted another family meeting on South Africa’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. During this address, he spoke on further steps our country will take to fight the virus as well as an extension to the National State of Disaster.
Article Category: News
President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped up and hosted another family meeting on South Africa’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. During this address, he spoke on further steps our country will take to fight the virus. He also announced that the National State of Disaster will be extended until 15 December.
Government has recently been paying attention to the Eastern Cape which shows signs of resurgence. In the province, a 50% increase in new cases was seen when comparing this week with the week before which Ramaphosa said is concerning. Another statistic which deepend concern is that there was a 145% increase in total cases when looking at the previous 14 days. Massive spikes have been seen in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro as well as an increase in hospital admissions in the province as a whole.
Ramaphosa explains that this could have been triggered by outbreaks in universities, schools and large gatherings. That combined with poor adherence to safety protocols makes a wonderful environment for rising infections, said Ramaphosa. Many people are also moving between other provinces which means that this surge will soon spread to other parts of the country.
He then explained Government's response to these rising infections as they've developed a resurgence plan with a team from the World Health Organisation (WHO). This includes primary healthcare outreach teams being recruited to intensify contact tracing, mobilisation and to be ready to respond to cluster outbreaks.
What we are witnessing in the Eastern Cape should be a wake up call to all of us that we cannot relax and we cannot be complacent about our approach to Covid-19.
- President Ramaphosa
They'll also be closely mmonitoring developments in areas experiencing higher than average rates of infections such as areas in the Free State, Northern Cape and Western Cape.
As we approach the festive season, many South Africans will be travelling across provinces and people tend to relax and gather. These activities, if not done responsibly, pose a threat to the country's management of the pandemic. To this, Ramaphosa says we should each play our part and do what we need to do to keep ourselves and others safe.
The President then asks each of us to do what we all know must be done which is to keep wearing our masks and to practice social distancing as "doing these things is better than having a lockdown and having everything shut down again".
"Masks can be hot and cumbersome and uncomfortable ... but cloth masks are cheap and can now be found almost anywhere in our country and the inconvenience of wearing one is far better than becoming infected or infecting others," explained Ramaphosa.
We all wish to return to our normal lives. I know many of us are suffering from Covid fatigue and we have forgotten that the virus is still all around us ... We all know about this virus. Information about this virus has been abundantly socialised amongst South Africans. From the Grade R learner to the factory worker. From the university student to the grandparent at home. We all now how the coronavirus can be spread.
President Ramaphosa also took the time to acknowledge that gatherings are what we want as well as connection during the festive season. South Africans are then encouraged to do the following:
- Do not let your guard down.
- Avoid large gatherings and rather meet in small groups.
- If you do go out, limit your contact with others.
He also said that he is becoming concerned when it comes to scenes of large parties, gatherings and social events which he's seen on TV and social media and that these individuals are acting as though the virus does not exist. They are seen not wearing a mask or social distancing and these super spreader events should be avoided, he said.
The same rules which applied in the early days of lockdown should still apply now.
- President Ramaphosa
All South Africans are encouraged to download the Covid Alert SA app which can notify you when you've been near someone who has the virus. The app is zero-rated and won't cost you anything. "BY downloading this app, you help to make the virus visible and break the chain of infection," said Ramaphosa.
Government is now also working to increase the number of tests done every day as community screenings and testing will be extended in hotspot areas. All hospitals should test hospitalised patients as well.
An effective and safe vaccine is still the reatest defence. There are several candidates for an effective vaccine now around the world. The first vaccine was found which was shown to be more than 90% effective and is a major step forward in combatting the virus.This development brings new hope in our fight against the virus, said Ramaphosa.
South Africa is working with pharmaceutical companies to obtain a safe and effective vaccine for South Africans and also bringing it to the rest of the conintent. The President announced that Africa will need around $12 billion and 750 million doses of the vaccine.
Covid-19 is far from over and will remain with us for some time to come ... we hope we have endured the worst of the storm.
The number of new infections have remained relatively stable and the number of deaths are declining steadily along with the number of people needing to be hospitalised. This shows that the virus has declined over the past two months.
South Africa also boasts a phenomenal recovery rate of 92% while the fatality rate is low when compared to other countries. However, we cannot begin to calculate the anguish the families of those departed have experienced, said the President.
We are now rebuilding the economy but the priority should be to keep ourselves safe as we remain vulnerable to the virus.
From 25 to 29 November, the President proclaimed that the country should observe a period of mourning for victims of Covid-19 as well as those lost to Geder Based Violence and Femicide. All South Africans are called to wear black arm bands or other symbols of mourning during this time to demonstarte their solidarity and recognise the grief we share as a nation.
Tags: President RamaphosaCyril Ramaphosacovidcovid19Covid-19family meetingcoronacoronaviruslockdownlockdown level 1alert level 1national state of disaster