South Africa: Ramaphosa Fears Festive Season Covid-19 Spiral

An official from the Nairobi Health Department disinfects a street (file photo).

Johannesburg — PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa is wary of a second coronavirus (COVID-19) wave in South Africa as the festive season approaches.

He said a resurgence of the deadly virus would reverse the resuscitation of the economy, which has suffered immensely from the outbreak.

"It is all the more critical at this time, more so with the festive season approaching, that we do not become the architects of our own undoing," the president wrote in his weekly letter on Monday.

He said the greatest vigilance was required from all South Africans to keep the virus at bay.

Ramaphosa pointed out a resurgence at any scale would not just dramatically reverse health gains.

"It will choke the green shoots of economic recovery that have emerged, and take us back from spring to winter," he added.

To prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections, South African must observe the public health guidelines that remained in place, he advised.

"When we fail to wear a mask at a social gathering, when we attend crowded events, we are not only putting ourselves and others at risk. We are also putting our economic recovery in jeopardy."

Ramaphosa said the positive actions of wearing a mask, of maintaining social distancing and of regular hand washing helped us overcome the worst effects of the pandemic.

"They are still our best defence," he said.

"Let us remember the sacrifices we all had to make to contain the spread of the virus in the early days."

Even as most social and economic activity had resumed, Ramaphosa insisted the public should still observe all the health measures.

"This is absolutely necessary if we are to rebuild our economy and put this crisis behind us."

South Africa, the continent's most advanced economy is battling the most severe outbreak of COVID-19 in Africa.

As of Monday, it had documented 737 278 cases, including 19 809 deaths.

Globally, there were 50,75 million cases and 1,26 million deaths from the virus.

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