Ramaphosa urges S/Africans to “work hard to stop Covid-19 third wave”

South Africans need to “build a new normal” to overcome the current coronavirus pandemic's third wave surge which has seen…

South Africans need to “build a new normal” to overcome the current coronavirus pandemic’s third wave surge which has seen “an extraordinarily rapid and steep rise in infections” since April, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Monday.Ramaphosa said the number of daily new cases has jumped from below 800 in early April to over 13,000 in the past week. 

“In other words, it increased more than 15-fold from the last low point,” Ramaphosa said  in his weekly message to the nation, adding that to win the battle against Covid-19 “will take persistence and discipline.”

He told his compatriots that stopping of the third wave infections was in their hands, but only if they remained disciplined to practising the prevention protocols such as the wearing of masks in public, washing of hands and maintaining social distance as required.

“We all know what we have to do to bring the rate of infection down. Therefore, we must act with great discipline to protect our people and our livelihoods,” Ramaphosa said.

He urged the public to continue avoiding all social gatherings — whether for family, friends, business or recreation.

“We may be tired of this persistent enemy, but it is not yet tired of us,” he said, adding that those who could work from home should continue to do so.

He added: “Although we find ourselves in the middle of winter, we need to ensure good ventilation when indoors or in public transport, for instance, by opening windows to afford fresh air.” 

He noted that the country had previously experienced and achieved progress against pandemics — most notably the HIV and AIDS pandemic of the 1990s.

“We have managed to reduce new HIV infections by more than half since 2010. Our people know that we can control contagions. But it requires all of us to act together over time.

He added: “It is not a task only for the vulnerable or the healthcare system. It requires every South African to do their part, to accept that we cannot go back to pre-pandemic days. But must rather build a new normal that is safe for all of us.”

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