President Cyril Ramaphosa says experts now agree that the corona virus will remain a threat to global public health and has urged South Africans to prepare themselves to live with the virus for some time while the globe seeks to combat it.
“We must therefore be prepared to continue to live with the coronavirus among us for a year or even more . We must be prepared for a new reality in which the fight against COVID-19 becomes part of our daily existence,” he said.
Ramaphosa says the beginning of May saw the gradual easing of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown and many people have started returning to work, but suggests that overcoming the virus is determined by behavior change.
“Overcoming the virus will ultimately be determined by the changes we make in our behaviour, we will need to adapt to new ways of worshipping, socializing, exercising and meeting that minimize opportunities for the virus to spread,” sais Ramaphosa.
President Ramaphosa also adds that health experts around the globe are warning of a second wave of infections as public life resumes and South Africa will also experience a rise in COVID-19 infections as more people return to work.
“We will be no different, we can and must expect infections to rise as more people return to work. We must accept the reality, prepare for it and adapt to it,” he said.
The government’s next phase of national response is much about continuity as it is about change or innovation which will see an increase in screening, testing and case management program.
Ramaphosa says new measures will be introduced to make contact tracing more effective and also the implementation of mass sanitization of workplaces, public transport and other spaces will be looked into.