The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has made an impassioned plea to members of the public to take more responsibility as the number of novel cases of the Covid 19 virus climb to a new high as the country officially enters the third wave of the pandemic. Ramaphosa was writing in his weekly newsletter in an open letter to the people of Mzansi on Monday.
Ramaphosa called on every member of public to do their part by sticking to the new lockdown measures that he announced a week ago in what has come to be known as the family meeting. He went further to suggest that, where possible, people can even go beyond the measures that had been suggested. “Workers have to isolate or quarantine, people stop going out for recreation or shopping, tourism comes to a standstill, and workplaces have to spend more money to prevent infections,” said Ramaphosa in the open letter to the public.
Turning to the argument about lives and livelihoods, the President said that the debate should not even arise as there could be no trade off between the two. He called on the country to invest time, effort and resources to controlling the pandemic in order to see a pay off to their efforts.
The President went further to warn the public that there was no way the country and the world for that matter could go back to the pre-pandemic days. Effectively, he added, this meant that it was everyone’s responsibility to build a new normal that is safe for everyone. He said, “We must wear masks when other people are around and stay one and a half metres from other people whenever possible. Although we find ourselves in the middle of winter, we need to ensure good ventilation when indoors or in public transport, for instance by opening windows.”
The President went further to discuss the topical issue of vaccines. He informed the public that the government was planning to vaccinate the majority of the country before the year ended. He added that this week only, plans were afoot to vaccinate about half a million workers in the education sector. This sector, he said, was pivotal to the economy of the country as it affected almost everyone in the country. He ended his letter by making a call on all South Africans to do all they can to ensure that the roll out of the vaccinations was a complete success.