Now is the time to be more vigilant than ever
Lockdown level 2. Day one.
South Africans, no doubt, breathed a collective sigh of relief on Saturday night when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that cabinet had decided it was time for SA to shift to lockdown level 2.
With the announcement came the lifting of bans on travel between provinces, and the sale of alcohol and tobacco products and the reopening of gyms.
Over the last three weeks, the number of new confirmed cases has dropped from a peak of more than 12,000 a day to an average over the past week of about 5,000 a day.
The recovery rate from coronavirus has risen from 48% at the time of Ramaphosa’s last address and now stands at 80%.
It has been an “immensely difficult five months and the pandemic has taken a heavy toll” — on individuals, communities, our health system and the economy.
“During this difficult period what all of us have longed for as South Africans most of all is to be healthy, restore our livelihoods and rebuild our economy,” Ramaphosa said.
However, excitement about lifting of these “sin tax” bans, and the easing of lockdown regulations is by no means licence to return to life as we knew it before Covid-19.
Instead, we should be more vigilant now than ever before as even more people return to work, meaning more people are interacting, meaning the risk of infection increases.
“We therefore cannot become complacent or abandon the health precautions that we know we need to take,” Ramaphosa warned.
“Even the slightest lapse in our alertness at this moment could lead to a resurgence in infections at a rate and on a scale far greater than what we have seen so far.
“We have seen this happen in other countries, where stringent restrictions have had to be reimposed at short notice as the rate of infection rises after relaxation.”
And we agree.
It would be wise to continue exercising caution as though were still in level 5 as far as possible — if not for ourselves, then for the safety of those around us, our loved ones included.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on August 15 2020 that South Africa will be moving to lockdown alert level 2 from August 18 2020.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.