President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned against complacency amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying South Africans need to continue adhering to the strict lockdown regulations.
Addressing the nation on Thursday night, Ramaphosa announced that the lockdown will be extended to the end of April.
South Africa has recorded 1934 coronavirus infections and 18 deaths.
Ramaphosa has praised South Africans for their efforts to limit their travel and movement.
He says, “In the two weeks before the lockdown, the average daily increase in new cases was around 42%. Since the start of the lockdown, the average daily increase has been around 4%. While we recognize the need to expand testing to gain a better picture of the infection rate, this represents real progress. We are only at the beginning of a monumental struggle that demands our every resource and our every effort. We cannot relax. We cannot be complacent.”
Coronavirus case globally
Ramaphosa has cited concerns over the continuous rise in coronavirus cases across the globe and has emphasized the need for South Africans to adhere to the regulations of the nationwide lockdown.
The number of people worldwide to have tested positive for the coronavirus has hit 1.6 million, up from 1.5 million the day before, with over 95 000 deaths recorded.
He says, “Since I announced the lockdown just over two weeks ago, the global coronavirus pandemic has worsened. The health systems of many countries have been overwhelmed. Even the most developed economies in the world have not had the means to treat the many thousands who have fallen ill. The devastating effect of this is that many people have died. The global evidence is overwhelming. It confirms that our decision to declare a national state of disaster and to institute a nation-wide lockdown was correct and it was timely.”
EFF welcomes extension
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has welcomed the extension of the national lockdown by an additional 14 days as a measure to caution and eliminate the spread of COVID-19.
The EFF has called on ordinary South Africans to abide by lockdown regulations until the rapid spread of the virus has been contained and the risk of further infections eliminated.
According to a statement released by the party, it says: “We believe that it should only be a scientific and databased analysis of the spread that should lead to the suspension of the lockdown.”
The EFF says whilst they welcome the extension of the lockdown, they are not convinced that the government has taken adequate measures to mitigate against the economic and subsistence consequences on ordinary people.