- President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the nation's frontline workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic
- Ramaphosa said that every effort is being taken to protect those leading the resistance against the virus
- The president also called for an end to the discrimination against those who contract the virus
President Cyril Ramaphosa has noted that over 2 000 citizens have lost their personal fights against the Covid-19 virus.
In his weekly letter to South Africa, lamented the loss of healthcare workers and other essential professionals:
"That the men and women carrying out this noblest and sacred of duties are themselves falling ill and dying is a devastating blow. They are on the frontline of fighting this pandemic.
"They are working under great pressure and must carry the psychological strain of knowing they are at risk of contracting the virus. They are the true heroes and heroines of our battle against coronavirus."
Ramaphosa indicated that the government intends to take up a more hands-on approach when it comes to the healthcare sector:
"We know that access to PPE is not the only challenge our health care workers face. Across the country clinics and hospitals are facing staff shortages. This problem is being attended to.
"To support the work that our frontline workers are performing around the country we are deploying ministers and deputy ministers to each of the districts in the country to get a line of sight of specific challenges in these districts and to work with provincial health authorities."
However, Ramaphosa shone a spotlight on another pandemic gripping SA - discrimination against those who are infected:
"One of the challenges that has emerged in our country is the stigmatisation of people who have proven positive with coronavirus. As a society, we have a collective responsibility to stamp out the stigmatisation of people infected with the coronavirus.
"There have been disturbing reports of individuals being ostracised from their communities and of communities protesting against coronavirus patients being admitted to local hospitals and clinics. This must stop."
The president urged the nation to change this behaviour, supporting the sick instead, Briefly.co.za gathered:
"Just as we came together to promote acceptance of people living with HIV and stood firm against victimisation, we must show understanding, tolerance, kindness, empathy and compassion for those who are infected with this virus and for their families."
Ramaphosa explained that the stigmatisation of Covid-19 positive patients is driven by fear and ignorance:
"It is said that this stigmatisation is driven by fear of contracting the disease and lack of understanding. The best way to overcome our instinctive fear of illness and contagion is to observe the hygiene protocols that are in place.
"The fear of infection is well-founded and real. At the same time, we know what we have to do to protect ourselves and others."
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