by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
PRETORIA – SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned citizens against irresponsible behaviour as the country eases the lockdown around the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He said this would jeopardise the progress made by the country during the lockdown that has been effective since late March and has been eased since the beginning of May.
Ramaphosa’s sentiments come amid concern some members of the public were no longer complying with lockdown regulations.
Ramaphosa highlighted the transition to the next phase of the COVID-19 response, that of recovery, would be more difficult than the present one.
The president said the risk of infection outbreaks would increase and the demands on local clinics and hospitals and medical personnel would grow.
“That is why easing the lockdown restrictions must not result in careless behaviour by individuals or reckless practices by businesses keen to resume activity at the cost of human health,” Ramaphosa said.
Addressing the nation through his weekly letter, he maintained confidence the crisis would pass but for as long as it remained a threat to the lives of people, citizens must remain vigilant, diligent and responsible.
“Now, more than ever, it is upon the conduct of each that depends (on) the fate of all.”
South Africa, which is on level 4 of the lockdown, has confirmed more than 10,652 cases and 206 deaths from COVID-19 as of Tuesday.
He said the reality was that the virus would remain a threat to global public health for some time.
“We must therefore be prepared to continue to live with the coronavirus among us for a year or even more,” Ramaphosa, who is also the chairman of the African Union (AU).
Thus, he said, the country must be prepared for a new reality in which the fight against COVID-19 became part of daily existence.
“Our success in overcoming the coronavirus will ultimately be determined by the changes we make in our behaviour,” tRamaphosa said.
More than 4 million cases and 280, 000 deaths of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally since the virus emerged from China at the end of 2019.
– CAJ News