- President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged citizens to protect the elderly by maintaining odistance amid the Covid-19 pandemic
- With underlying comorbidities (other health conditions) posing a major risk during the pandemic, Ramaphosa called for caution
- This comes amid reports of outbreaks in old age homes and care centres, causing fatalities
President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged citizens to care for the elderly and vulnerable during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his weekly letter to the nation, Ramaphosa encouraged citizens to do the right thing, acknowledging that it may well be difficult:
"For those fortunate enough to have an elderly parent or grandparent still alive, not being able to spend time with them has been one of the most difficult parts of the lockdown.
"For millions of senior citizens, social activities like meeting friends and family and attending religious services and stokvel and burial society meetings are the mainstay of their lives."
While the elderly may feel increasingly lonely during this period, Ramaphosa pointed out that their lives are on the line:
"Because of social distancing regulations, most of these activities have been curtailed, potentially leaving them feeling socially isolated and lonely. And leaving their loved ones anxious for their wellbeing.
"The reality, however, is that in keeping our distance from our elderly parents and grandparents at this time, we could be saving their lives."
Ramaphosa revealed that there had been reports of old age homes and care centres:
"Coronavirus can infect anyone, but older people are among those at highest risk of getting severely ill and possibly dying. Sadly, there have been a number of coronavirus outbreaks at old age homes and care centres, resulting in a number of deaths."
South Africans were once again reminded to follow preventative measures in order to overcome the virus:
"While the Covid-19 fatality rate is low in South Africa compared to the rest of the world, the rising number of infections is a caution against complacency. If we follow all the prevention measures we will be able to protect ourselves.
"We will also, through our everyday actions, protect and keep safe those who are most vulnerable. Let us remain cautious. Let us remain vigilant. Let us stay safe."
Briefly.co.za reported that Ramaphosa had denied considering harsher lockdown restrictions, saying the government is instead focused on the job crisis.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!