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COVID-19: We can win this battle – Ramaphosa

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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has reminded South Africans that COVID-19 isn’t the first pandemic the country has had to tackle

  The South African president disclosed this in his latest weekly newsletter, reminding South Africans that COVID-19 is not the first pandemic that the country has had to deal with, while encouraging citizens to soldier on during these trying times.

  His latest letter comes as the country finds itself in the midst of a third wave of COVID-19 cases. According to Ramaphosa, the battle against the respiratory disease can be won, but warned that it will take discipline and persistence.

  “We are now in the midst of a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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,” Ramaphosa said.

  The South African president reminded South Africans that at some stage, it was battling a high rate of HIV/AIDS infections, but that with time and the application of certain measures, the figures improved.

  “As South Africans, we have experienced pandemics before, most notably HIV/AIDS. We have managed to reduce new HIV infections by more than half since 2010. Our people know that we can control contagions, but it requires all of us to act together over time,” he said.

  “It is not a task only for the vulnerable or the healthcare system. It requires every South African to do their part, to accept that we cannot go back to pre-pandemic days but must rather build a new normal that is safe for us all. We can win this battle, but it will take persistence and discipline”

  President Cyril Ramaphosa added that South Africa has experienced many hardships in the past but the common denominator in how they were addressed, was that they not only understood the various challenges, but also developed appropriate strategies, which were implemented together as a nation.

  He noted that Gauteng is the epicentre of COVID-19 in the country, reiterating what the provincial government has already said that hospitals are reaching capacity, and healthcare workers are exhausted.

“Gauteng looks small on the map but it is home to one in five South Africans and two-fifths of our economy. 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,” he said.

  Ramaphosa says South Africans must accept that the country cannot go back to pre-pandemic days and must play their part to build a new normal that is safe for all even as the rollout of vaccines continues.

  The president rallied South Africans to be persistent and practice discipline to win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his weekly message to the nation, Ramaphosa has highlighted the seriousness of the third wave which is sweeping the country, hitting Gauteng particularly hard.

He says the task of controlling the virus is not just one for the vulnerable or healthcare workers but requires every South African to do their part.

  President Ramaphosa says with the steep and rapid climb in new cases, a 15 fold increase from early April, citizens need to invest time and effort to control the pandemic and see a payoff, in terms of falling cases, reduced deaths and economic recovery.

  It will be recalled that South Africa has reported 13 155 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of infections to 1 823 319.

  There have been 112 new COVID-19-related deaths, pushing the national death toll to 58 702.

  The president reiterated the need to avoid social gatherings, work from home if possible and wear masks and practice social distancing.

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