Prepare for another year of coronarivus – Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Esa Alexander

Coronavirus will most remain a threat in the country for the next year or more, President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned.

In his weekly newsletter on Monday, Ramaphosa said that South Africans must be prepared for a new way of living which will see the fight against coronavirus forming part of their daily lives for the foreseeable future.

He said this as he warned that the national lockdown eased to level 4 to allow a number of businesses to operate will result in inevitable increase in the number of infected people.

As of late Sunday, 10,015 people had been infected with the novel Covid-19 in SA, with 194 dreported deaths.

“While there is still much about the pandemic that is unknown, experts now agree that the virus will remain a threat to global public health for some time,” Ramaphosa said.

“We must therefore be prepared to continue to live with the coronavirus among us for a year or even more. We must be prepared for a new reality in which the fight against Covid-19 becomes part of our daily existence.”

Health experts have been studying the behaviour of the virus that has affected the whole world and has wreaked havoc in countries whose majority of population live hand to mouth.

In South Africa where majority are poor, unemployed and work in informal economies, the lockdown, necessitated by the pandemic has resulted in a lot more people relying on the state for aid such as food parcels and grants.

Ramaphosa said that health experts have warned of a second wave of infections as the lockdown is gradually eased.

He said that this called for a change in human behaviour where people embraced social and physical distancing and wore masks.

“Even after lockdown – especially after lockdown – we will still need to observe social distancing, wear face masks, wash hands regularly, and avoid contact with other people. We will need to reorganise workplaces, schools, universities, colleges, and other public places to limit transmission.

“We will need to adapt to new ways of worshipping, socialising, exercising and meeting that minimise opportunities for the virus to spread.”Ramaphosa also reiterated that the lockdown, which has been in effected for almost six weeks, has bought the country time and has slowed down the rate of infections which has saved many lives.

“The transition to the next phase of the coronavirus response, that of recovery, will be more difficult than the present one. The risk of infection outbreaks will increase. The demand on our clinics and hospitals and medical personnel will grow.”

BY KGOTHATSO MADISA

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