President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his condolences to the families of COVID-19 victims, who have succumbed to the virus.
“Each one of these deaths is a tragedy. Each one represents a unique life: a parent, a child, a sibling or a friend. Each one leaves behind a family and a community in mourning.
“I would like to offer my condolences to all South Africans who have lost someone they love, and wish them strength, courage and hope in the days ahead,” said Ramaphosa.
On Monday, the total number of COVID-19 cases stood at 50 879,with the national death toll now at 1080.
Over 400 000 deaths have been recorded across the world, making this one of the most devastating pandemics in the last century.
“We should take this moment to remind ourselves that the Coronavirus presents a real danger to all of us. While it may be an invisible enemy, it is nevertheless deadly,” said the President.
While most of those infected with the virus will have only mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all, they can still spread the disease to others who may suffer far more.
To protect themselves and others, the President urged citizens to continue to wear a mask when in public so that it covers the mouth and nose, wash hands frequently with soap or sanitiser, and not to sit or stand too close to others in public transport or in a store.
“While some have tried to downplay the threat posed by the Coronavirus, the majority of South Africans have understood its danger and have acted accordingly. Indeed, the patience and solidarity demonstrated by so many South Africans have saved many thousands of lives,” said Ramaphosa.
With the country still anticipating its peak, the President said government will continue to take whatever action necessary to safeguard the lives of citizens.
Under lockdown, government built the capacity of the country’s health system, adding thousands of hospital and quarantine beds, securing adequate medical supplies and personal protective equipment, and putting training and protocols in place at all its healthcare facilities to prepare for an increase in infections.
“These measures will prove invaluable as the number of cases continues to increase. Indeed, this is the moment that we have prepared for. We have been advised by experts that the epidemic will become worse before it gets better,” said the President.
Ramaphosa said while the country has had sufficient capacity to cope with the rate of infection so far, it will continue to monitor the situation closely. If necessary, government will impose a higher alert level in specific parts of the country to prevent a rapid increase in cases.
“It is therefore crucial that all South Africans adhere to the restrictions that remain in place and continue to take basic precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. These precautions remain our best defence against the Coronavirus and are necessary to save lives.
“We all need to play our part in the fight against the Coronavirus. Stay safe and protect South Africa,” said the President.