Ramaphosa: SA must do everything to prevent second COVID-19 wave

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country has recorded over 740,000 COVID-19 cases with the death toll now having passed the 20,000 mark.

 President Cyril Ramaphosa participates in a virtual US-SA business and investment roundtable on 11 November 2020. Image: @PresidencyZA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has reprimanded South Africans ignoring COVID-19 preventative measures, saying we must do everything to prevent a harsh second wave.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the country has recorded over 740,000 COVID-19 cases, with the death toll now having passed the 20,000 mark.

The recovery rate is holding steady at 92%.

The president said that since the worst infection rates were recorded in July, the Eastern Cape and municipalities in the Northern Cape, Free State and Western Cape had recorded resurgences in COVID-19 infection rates.

He explained during his address to the nation on Wednesday night that the total number of new cases in the Eastern Cape over the past 14 days were around 145% higher than the previous 14 days.

He said there would be focused interventions in the areas identified as ripe for a resurgence in infections.

“With many people moving between the Eastern Cape and other provinces – particularly the Western Cape – it is a matter of time before this surge spreads to other parts of the country. We, therefore, need to take measures to contain the rise in infections.

“In response to the rising infections, we are implementing the resurgence plan that has been developed together with the surge team deployed to South Africa by the World Health Organization.”

While stern in his tone about people’s lax behaviour towards the virus, he said that if all necessary health protocols and remaining restrictions were adhered to, there would be no need to return to a higher alert level.

WATCH: Ramaphosa: Surge in Eastern Cape needs to be contained

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