With cases of the coronavirus pandemic sharply rising daily in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday appealed to his compatriots to protect the elderly by refraining from spreading the virus to them.He said South Africans could do this by avoiding social visits to them, especially the elders who had underlying health conditions.
He noted that coronavirus “can infect anyone but older people are among those at highest risk of getting severely ill and possibly dying.”
“Sadly, there have been a number of coronavirus outbreaks at old age homes and care centres, resulting in a number of deaths,” the president said.
Ramaphosa explained that the elders with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease needed to be extra cautious by staying home if possible, and continue taking their medication.
Ramaphosa acknowledged that due to their inability to meet friends and family, attend church and society meetings, many senior citizens understandably felt lonely.
He suggested the use of social media like video chats or mere phones in messaging elderly family members in order to save their lives.
With a third of patients admitted to hospitals with the disease having at least one co-morbidity, Ramaphosa said those with underlying conditions could now test for the disease even if they were asymptomatic.
He urged those on chronic medication to continue to take their treatment and observe all recommended hygiene measures as part of their preventive measures.
Some 3,199 South Africans have died from 196,750 Covid-19 cases since the disease broke out in the country in the first week of March of 2020.