- President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed South Africa in a short late-night address on Monday
- With 1 326 cases of coronavirus and three related deaths, Ramaphosa warned that every citizen is at risk
- The president called on all South Africans to take the lockdown seriously
President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to South Africans last night during a relatively short address.
With 1 326 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as well as three related deaths, Ramaphosa issued a warning:
“Some people may think this disease is something that doesn't concern them, and that it will never affect them - that it is something they only read about in newspapers or social media or see reports about on television. But it is very real. And it poses a great danger to every one of us and to our society as well."
The coronavirus, Ramaphosa explained, does not discriminate when it comes to infecting citizens:
“It infects the rich and the poor, the young and the old, black and white, those who live in the cities and those who live in the rural areas. Let us not make the mistake of thinking that this is somebody else's problem.”
Those who continue to flout the lockdown regulations are putting both themselves and others at risk:
“Every time you violate the regulations the government has issued, or try to get around the rules, you are putting yourselves and others at risk - and helping to spread the virus. It is now four days since our country went into a nationwide lockdown for the first time in the history of our democracy. This is an extreme measure we had to embark upon in response to the coronavirus pandemic."
The state, according to Ramaphosa, is aware of the massive disruption caused by this measure:
“As government, we are aware that the lockdown has caused great disruption to all our lives, and cost upheaval in our economy. But we all know and agree that this nationwide lockdown is absolutely necessary to save the lives of thousands, even tens of thousands, of people.”
Noting the difficulty facing citizens during this unprecedented lockdown, Ramaphosa continued:
“The next 17 days will be difficult. Parents are worried about the safety of their children. Small business owners and informal traders are losing much - or all - of their income. Workers are worried about their jobs and their income. The elderly and the frail need people to care for them. Some of those who live on the streets are without shelter or food. Students are missing their lessons in class, and are worried about the future. All of us are experiencing great hardship and great anxiety at this time. This is to be understood.”
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