The total number of persons infected with COVID-19 is now at 1 326, while the total number of deaths is three. President Cyril Ramaphosa broke this news tonight [March 30] during his address to the nation on the progress of the nationwide lockdown.

The virus has infected 740 000 people world wide and is responsible for a global death toll of 35 000.

“It is very real and poses a great danger to every one of us and our society. It affects rich and poor, young and old, black and white, people who live in cities and rural areas,” he said.

“The next 17 days will be difficult for everyone,” Ramaphosa continued. “We will face a number of challenges.”

The President also thanked South Africans for “responding positively for the most part. Thank you for acting in a disciplined manner in this difficult time.”

Ramaphosa also added that the government is aware of South Africans abroad who still wish to come home and that they are paying close attention to the matter.

He announced a new phase of the lockdown will soon be implemented; namely a large scale screening and testing programme which will include tracing and medical management.

Around 10 000 field workers will be deployed to screen residents across the country. Those who test positive with mild symptoms will be referred to clinics or remain isolated at home, while those with severe symptoms will be sent to hospitals.

The tracing system will be implemented to monitor all who have been exposed to the virus.

The President closed his message by encouraging all to stand together.

“We will prevail, because South Africans have come together like never before to engage in the struggle against the virus as one,” he said.

He proceeded to thank health care workers and the security personnel responsible for ensuring our safety. “Their task is to support, reassure and comfort our people.”

Ramaphosa also reiterated that they are instructed to ensure peace and order. They “must act within the law at all times and not cause any harm in any way whatsoever”.

“We are standing together as one to keep this country going,” the President said. He also said that the farmers, technicians in power stations, caregivers at old age homes and child care homes, as well as taxi drivers, refuse collectors, cashiers, hospital cleaners, petrol attendants are our unsung heroes.

“We will take the threat seriously, adapt as a society and all act responsibly,” the President said in closing. “We will beat this disease. We will overcome.”

Also read: President Ramaphosa urges citizens to stay indoors and reap rewards

Picture: Twitter

Article written by

Anita Froneman