Covid-19: Don't become 'architects of our own undoing', Ramaphosa warns SA

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President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged South Africans to comply with prevention measures to avoid a second Covid-19 wave. 
  • He said while there have been many successes, a resurgence will dramatically reverse any gains made.
  • By Sunday, South Africa had recorded 737 278 Covid-19 cases and 19 809 deaths.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa is in transition from relief to recovery, following the imposition of measures over eight months to combat the spread of Covid-19.

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In his weekly newsletter, the president said there was already progress in a number of areas, but warned South Africans to remain vigilant and to comply with measures to avoid a second wave. 

"After a long and difficult winter, the beginning of a new season should fill us with optimism," Ramaphosa said. 

He said the government's immediate priority was to contain the spread of the virus and provide emergency relief to citizens, communities, workers and businesses.

A number of measures were implemented, he said, including a nationwide lockdown, as well as the provision of social grants and business-relief measures, among others. 

"We can be proud that during this grave crisis we gave practical expression to this right in many ways," Ramaphosa said. 

But the president also warned that South Africans should not undo the successes achieved by being reckless. 

Observe guidelines

"It is all the more critical at this time, more so with the festive season approaching, that we do not become the architects of our own undoing.

"The greatest vigilance is required from us all to keep the virus at bay. A resurgence at any scale will not just dramatically reverse our health gains. It will choke the green shoots of economic recovery that have emerged, and take us back from spring to winter. 

"To prevent a second wave of Covid-19 infections, we must observe the public health guidelines that remain in place. When we fail to wear a mask at a social gathering, when we attend crowded events, we are not only putting ourselves and others at risk. We are also putting our economic recovery in jeopardy," Ramaphosa said. 

Ramaphosa urged people to continue wearing masks, to maintain social distancing, and to wash their hands. 

"Let us remember the sacrifices we all had to make to contain the spread of the virus in the early days. Even as most social and economic activity has resumed, we must still observe all the health measures. This is absolutely necessary if we are rebuild our economy and put this crisis behind us."

By Sunday, South Africa had recorded 737 278 Covid-19 cases and 19 809 deaths.

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