South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Saturday urged the country’s youth to protect their elders from the coronavirus by observing pandemic protocols amid the current second wave of the virus ahead of the Christmas festivities.The minister said this when he addressed a virtual webinar to mark International Universal Health Coverage Day in Pretoria. o is crisis and build a safer and healthier future, we must invest in health systems that protect us all — now.
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Mkhize said the youth were now the main carriers of the second wave pandemic due to their mobility, adding that South Africans must do everything to protect each other from the spread of the virus.
“As we are confronted by the heavy storm approaching us, I must take the opportunity to appeal to the public, particularly our youth, to be fully conscious of their agency and the role they must play to protect everyone from the devastation of Covid-19,” he said.
He reminded his compatriots that it was no longer business as usual as far as socialising was concerned during the pandemic which has killed nearly 23,000 people since it broke out in the country in March this year.
“We must choose between life, sickness or death” as the country faces the devastating second wave of the Covid-19 infections, Mkhize said.
He added: “If we choose life, then we must realise that we have to make sacrifices during this festive season. It will not be possible to celebrate the holidays in the way we are accustomed to.”
“We must now understand that the frivolities that are usually associated with the festive season must make way for the things that really matter — family and friends, caring for one another, physical and spiritual rejuvenation and preserving the spirit of ubuntu (humanity),” Mkhize told the virtual gathering.
He said: “We therefore all need to take action to save lives and protect everyone.
“We must commit to small gatherings, responsible drinking, frequent sanitising or washing of hands and surfaces, social distancing and we must never compromise on the correct and consistent wearing of masks.”
The second wave is now firmly established, propelled by soaring infection rates in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces, Mkhize said.