Super Rugby

Doc Jannie on coronavirus: 'Normal will never be quite like we knew it'

Jannie du Plessis (Gallo Images)
Jannie du Plessis (Gallo Images)

"Normal will never be quite like we knew it."

That is the view of the Lions' Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis, also a qualified medical doctor who has shared his views on the coronavirus pandemic that has seen South Africa in lockdown for a 21-day period.

In an interview with Netwerk24, Du Plessis said he brought his family to their farm in the Bethlehem-district in the eastern Free State.

"My wife and I decided it would be better for us to come to the farm. There is more space for everyone here and from a health point of view and exposure to people, it's also better," Du Plessis said.

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Du Plessis, who played 70 Tests for the Springboks between 2007 and 2015, added: "I did some research on the coronavirus and for me it has about the same effect as 1918 flu pandemic - the human immune system was not strong enough for that virus and it led to a large number of deaths.

"What gave me a fright of this current virus was how quickly it spread. We were still on tour in Australia just a few weeks ago, but it makes you sit up and take note how it spread worldwide in a short period."

The 37-year-old added that he felt South Africa's health system was geared to handle the crisis.

"The manner in which the President (Cyril Ramaphosa) acted, and the measures put in place, is the right way to go about things, even though there are people skeptical about the lockdown of the country."

Du Plessis said it was tough to train without his team-mates and hoped for a solution "so we can get as close as possible to what we experienced as normality".

Du Plessis returned to South Africa this year after playing for French club Montpellier between 2015 and 2019.

Before that, he played for the Sharks (2008-2015) and Cheetahs (2003-2007).

His brother Bismarck still plays for Montpellier and is currently in France with his family.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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