Ramaphosa: ‘Promising’ signs in Covid-19 battle, as SA hits 500 000 infections

Ramaphosa: ‘Promising’ signs in Covid-19 battle, as SA hits 500 000 infections

President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans will need to continue to work together in order eradicate Covid-19 in South Africa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa
Image courtesy: GCIS

Ramaphosa released a statement after South Africa topped 500 000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Saturday evening.


Of the cumulative total of 503 290 cases, 342 461 people have already recovered.


The death toll now stands at 8 153.


President Ramaphosa said despite the grim landmark there are promising signs when it comes to the transmission rate of the virus.


"After a rapid rise in infections over the last two months, the daily increase in infections appears to be stabilising, particularly in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape.


"While it may be too soon to draw firm conclusions, this suggests that the prevention measures that South Africans have implemented are having an effect.


"Our recovery rate is currently around 68%, while our case fatality rate, which is the number of deaths as a proportion of confirmed cases, remains at 1.6% - significantly lower than the global average.


"While South Africa has the fifth-highest number of total Covid-19 cases globally, we have only the 36th highest number of deaths as a proportion of the population.


"For this, we are grateful to the work of our health professionals and the innovative treatments they have pioneered.”


President Ramaphosa reiterated that the strategy set in motion by government before the start of the epidemic saved many lives.


"The national lockdown succeeded in delaying the spread of the virus by more than two months, preventing a sudden and uncontrolled increase in infections in late March.


"Had South Africans not acted together to prevent this outcome, our health system would have been overwhelmed in every province. This would have resulted in a dramatic loss of life.”


But he warned South Africans to remain vigilant as the country heads into the virus’ expected peak in August. 


"Now is not the time to let down our guard. We have to continue to work together to reduce the number of new infections.


"Above all, we need to continue to follow prevention measures to reduce the rate of infection and flatten the curve. By wearing a mask correctly, keeping a distance of two metres from other people, and washing our hands regularly, we can protect ourselves, our families, friends, co-workers, fellow commuters and neighbours.”


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South Africa coronavirus cases top 500 000

The country has become the epicentre of the deadly pandemic on the continent, accounting for more than half of Africa's diagnosed infections. "Today South Africa has exceeded the half-a-million mark with a cumulative total of 503,290 confirmed COVID-19 cases recorded," Heath Minister Zweli Mkhize said in his daily update.

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