- Covid-19 cases have increased fifteen-fold since April.
- The increased infections pose a risk to both lives and livelihoods, the president has said.
- Gauteng's numbers have yet to start declining, despite surpassing previous peaks.
Increasing Covid-19 cases in Gauteng show no sign of slowing down and pose a threat to both lives and livelihoods, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.
The country is in the midst of a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, but Gauteng is "by far the hardest hit", the president stressed in his weekly newsletter on Monday.
"As an economic hub, many people travel to and from this province. We need to turn this around urgently, or lives and livelihoods will be seriously under threat," the president said.
Ramaphosa described the climb in new cases as "extraordinarily rapid and steep over the past few weeks". He said cases had jumped from below 800 in early April to more than 13 000 in the past week – a fifteen-fold increase.
The surge in cases brought with it challenges to the economy, Ramaphosa said.
The president urged South Africans to avoid social gatherings, wear face masks and wash or sanitise their hands.
"We may be tired of this persistent enemy, but it is not yet tired of us. The threat to health and lives is evident as people become ill and some die. So we must do what we can, as individuals, as families and communities, as unions and employers, and as government, to limit the toll," he added.