3 months after disaster declaration, SA struggling in COVID-19 fight

On 15 March, exactly three months ago, Ramaphosa addressed the country from the Union Buildings.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is guided by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on a tour of the province's Hospital of Hope; an 850-bed COVID-19 facility which has been established at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Monday, 15 June, marks exactly three months since President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a state of disaster to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 15 March, exactly three months ago, Ramaphosa addressed the country from the Union Buildings.

At that stage, South Africa only had 61 confirmed COVID-19 cases and zero deaths.

Ramaphosa imposed several hard restrictions: closing schools airports and borders.

“We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease to protect the people of our country and to reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy.”

But the picture has changed drastically in just three months.

Laboratories are now battling with huge backlogs, convention centres have been turned into field hospitals and there are legal challenges to some of the lockdown regulations.

On 27 March, the country entered its first day of what is now known as level five lockdown, which happened to coincide with the day South Africa recorded its first COVID-19 fatality.

Monday, 15 June, is day 81 of the lockdown and it’s not yet clear how much longer we have to go.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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