Mkhize makes ‘urgent and important’ plea to all South Africans

 ·18 Jul 2020

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has delivered an ‘urgent and important’ plea to all South Africans around the country’s flagging response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As Government, we have mobilized every resource, every faculty and wherewithal at our disposal to effect the necessary interventions. But government cannot manage this unilaterally.

“Every single South African now needs to focus on adhering to recommendations pertaining to non-pharmaceutical interventions,” he said.

“We are extremely concerned that fatigue seems to have set in and South Africans are letting down their guard at a time when the spread of infection is surging. We see poor or no social distancing in communities.

“Masks are being abandoned or not worn properly and there is laxity setting in around frequent hand-washing.”

The minister said that this will directly influence the rise in numbers in the next two weeks. “We must all appreciate that there is a direct causal link between the surge of cases and our ability, or inability, to ad- here to these very basic principles.

“We do not have a vaccine. We do not have a cure. Our ability to break the cycle of infection depends on our willingness to remain focused and disciplined and take non-pharmaceutical interventions seriously.

“We can beat this pandemic together. We have already proved this during the lockdown,” he said.

“It remains in each and every citizen’s hands to admonish family members, colleagues, friends. who refuse to adhere to measures that protect lives by limiting the spread of this virus.”

On Saturday evening, the minister announced that there are now a total of 350,879 cases of coronavirus in South Africa.

This is an increase of 13,285 cases from the 337,594 infections reported on Friday.

The minister announced 144 new Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total to 4,948 casualties, following a 24-hour high of 216 casualties on Wednesday.

He pointed to 182,230 recoveries to date.

A total of 2.42 million tests have been conducted, with 49,688 tests conducted over the past 24 hours, Dr Mkhize said.

Read: Experts question ‘underreported’ virus deaths in South Africa

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