South Africa: Behaviour Change Crucial to Save Lives, KZN Premier Warns

Kwazulu — Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala has called on citizens to change their behaviour, as the province records high daily COVID-19 infections since the beginning of August.

KwaZulu-Natal overtook the Western Cape on Tuesday, becoming the province with the second-highest Coronavirus infections in the country.

As of Wednesday, the province had 101 499 COVID-19 cases and 1 524 deaths.

"These worrying figures call for each and every one of us to play our part now. We want to sound the alarm bells that we are now right in the storm and on the verge of becoming the epicentre of this deadly pandemic.

"This literally means many more people are getting infected, and many more may die if we don't change our behaviour," Zikalala said during his weekly update.

He has appealed to every citizen, stakeholder and community leader to play their part in order to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus epidemic.

"The fight now requires everybody to come to the party," he stressed.

It's in your hands

The way people conduct themselves and behave is more crucial than ever before, Zikalala said.

"We have noticed, worryingly, that people are now lowering their guard, and we would like to warn against doing so as we enter this phase of increasing numbers of infections in our province."

Zikalala said he was concerned about many people who are frequenting places of entertainment, car washes and shisanyamas (barbeque outlets), where they gather in groups, which poses a serious risk.

"This is happening despite the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic is already hitting our families and communities very hard."

He said every province now has a serious challenge and KwaZulu-Natal is no exception.

"As government, we can do so much to prevent the spread of this virus, but it is now firmly in our hands to prevent the spread through responsible behaviour, such as always maintaining social distancing and wearing masks at all times when we are in public areas."

Get help

The Premier said people should not delay in seeking help if they are showing Coronavirus symptoms.

"Reach out to a healthcare facility so you can be screened and tested as soon as possible. These symptoms may include fever, dry cough, tiredness, or loss of smell or taste, among others," he explained.

He assured that medical attention is readily available at government quarantine facilities for those who have been ordered to go into quarantine.

"It is really now in our hands to conquer this pandemic. Let us not compromise our families and those we love because of our irresponsible behaviour," Zikalala said, adding that there is plenty of space available to look after those who need it.

For more information on how to access these beds, you can visit the official website of the KZN Department of Health or the province's Department of Health official Facebook page.

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