Ramaphosa: COVID-19 screening drive will be intensive & far-reaching

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a major new screening and testing initiative aimed at helping fight COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a major new screening and testing initiative aimed at helping fight COVID-19.

He addressed the nation on Monday night for the first time since the 21-day national lockdown began.

As the nation enters day 5 of lockdown, government is planning to deploy 10,000 field workers in a mammoth testing screening and management drive.

They will go into communities to screen citizens and those with symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested.

"This drive is far-reaching, it is intensive and it is unprecedented in scale."

The programme will harness mobile technology to help trace those who have been in contact with positive cases.

But major programmes like this cost money, money that the nation doesn't have, money that will be more expensive to borrow after the Moodys downgrade on Friday.

"We are pushing ahead to implement the necessary health interventions and economic and social measures to contain the spread of the disease and alleviate its effects on our people."

Ramaphosa has called on every South African to do their bit to help flatten the curve by staying home and avoiding social contact.

WATCH: Ramaphosa updates South Africa on day 4 of lockdown