John Steenhuisen, the interim Federal Leader of the Democratic Alliance since November 2019, states that he wholeheartedly agrees with president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to implement the national lockdown with regards to the coronavirus.
By Brandon Nel - Freelance Journalist
“The virus is spreading worldwide, and SA is not immune to it,” Steenhuisen told Briefly.co.za.
Having done an African Economic Development course while attending The London School of Economics and Political Science, it shows that Steenhuisen understands the impact that the lockdown has on South Africans and our economy as a whole.
“It's obviously nationally inconvenient for all people, and very damaging to our economy, but absolutely essential if we are going to stop the spread of the virus. However, there are important things hampering the fight against the virus.
"We do not have enough ventilators or sufficient quantities of trained medical staff to assist the people that have already contracted the virus. This will result in the virus winning the war in the sick and the only conclusion will be their demise.”
According to Steenhuisen, to prevent the onslaught of the virus spreading rapidly, it was necessary to implement a 21-day lockdown. It is very important to flatten the curve of the upwards trend at which the virus is currently spreading.
Steenhuisen does not indemnify the Western Cape at all from participating in the lockdown and proudly states that this province is fighting hard against the virus.
“The Western Cape is fully equipped to fight it and to deal with the cases that tested positive to Covid-19.”
He believes that the lockdown will be effective, but a worst-case scenario could be that people blatantly disobey the rules and carry on with life as normal.
"This is how the virus spreads quickly in densely populated areas. The possibility of a massive outbreak in rural areas cannot be ruled out if the rules, as set out by the president, are not followed.”
Steenhuisen also stated:
"It is important to curtail the spread of this disease, because, to be honest, we will not be able to fight it once it spreads.
“People should realise that we are trying to avoid a state of emergency. People who disobey the lockdown rules will face the full brunt of the law. We have our best shot ever of flattening the curve and stopping the spread while adhering to these rules. And that should be the primary focus of every South African right now.”
Hints on how to assist in curbing the spread of the virus:
- Protect yourselves and help prevent spreading the virus to others by washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds long. Steenhuisen says this cannot be emphasised enough.
- When coughing or sneezing, use a curved elbow or a paper towel, tissue, or handkerchief to cover your mouth or nose.
- Do not touch your eyes, mouth or nose if you have not recently washed your hands.
- Also, avoid being in close contact with people who show flu-like symptoms.
- Stay at home in self-isolation if you do not feel well.
- Prescribe to the lockdown and regulations as set out.
When asked what he was doing during the lockdown, he replied that he has some DIY chores as per his wife’s list to finish:
“You know what they say: Happy wife… happy life!”
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