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Ramaphosa: It's up to South Africans to limit the spread of COVID-19

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that it was disappointing that many people were still reluctant to self isolate and quarantine, still did not wear masks, gathered in social groups and attended funerals with more than 1,000 people.

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation on the country's coronavirus measures on 12 July 2020. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that it was disappointing that many people were still reluctant to self isolate and quarantine, still did not wear masks, gathered in social groups and attended funerals with more than 1,000 people.

He said that the struggles and sacrifices of the past few months were about to get harder as the country weathered the raging COVID-19 storm and that South Africans must individually take responsibility to limit the spread.

• READ: President Ramaphosa's full speech

President Ramaphosa said that evidence now showed that COVID-19 could be spread in the air in overcrowded spaces, yet many people still engaged in risky behaviour.

"In the midst of our national effort to fight against this virus, there are a number of people who have taken to organising parties, who have drinking sprees, and some who walk around in crowded spaces without masks. Then there are some of our people who see no problem attending funerals where the number of people in attendance exceeds the number of 50 that has been set out in regulations. In some cases, some people go to funerals where more than 1,000 people are in attendance. This is how the virus is spread – through carelessness and through recklessness."

He said that provinces would reach infection peaks in July and August.

But he said that it was up to South Africans to limit the spread of the disease.

"Scientists and other scenario planners have presented us with models that project that South Africa may have between 40,000 and 50,000 deaths before the end of this year. We must make it our single most important task to prove these projections wrong."

He said that people had no excuse for not covering their nose and mouth because even a T-shirt could be used.

But stricter regulations for wearing masks will be announced.

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