Festive season poses greatest threat to health, economy, warns Ramaphosa

Festive season poses greatest threat to health, economy, warns Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa has resorted to painting a bleak picture of death amid the alarmingly high number of Covid-19 infections.  

Cyril Ramaphosa with face mask on

Ramaphosa warned South Africans that the year-end festivities could result in the death of scores of citizens. 

He painted a dire picture for South Africans on Monday evening during his national address. 

“Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many, many South Africans. This is certainly what we don’t want. We all want to live and let our loved ones live. It is therefore essential that we take extraordinary measures to contain the second wave and save lives, while working to protect livelihoods.” 

Ramaphosa announced several new restrictions under level 1, including a curfew between 11pm and 4am and a weekend booze ban. 

Beaches in the Eastern Cape will remain closed throughout the festive season. 

“The festive season now poses the greatest threat to the health and well-being of our nation. It poses the greatest threat also to the recovery of our economy,” he said. 

There are growing concerns that the increased interprovincial travel and gatherings could trigger a domino effect, causing a further burden to the healthcare sector and parts of the economy.  

“The festive season is traditionally a time of gatherings, of travel, of meeting friends and family, and of relaxing after a difficult and stressful year. 

“If we do not do things differently this festive season, we will greet the new year not with joy, but with sorrow. Many of our friends, relatives and co-workers will be infected, some will get severely ill and some, tragically, will die,” Ramaphosa warned.

He called on South Africans to act responsibly to circumvent a tragic start to the new year. 


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