Don't get overexcited about level 2, warns President Cyril Ramaphosa

17 August 2020 - 10:42 By MAWANDE AMASHABALALA
President Cyril Ramaphosa says SA must remain vigilant despite the excitement around moving to level 2. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says SA must remain vigilant despite the excitement around moving to level 2. File photo.
Image: Elmond Jiyane/GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned South Africans against complacency as the country moves to lockdown level 2 on Tuesday.

According to Ramaphosa, the country is still at risk of seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections which would mean a hard lockdown might be reintroduced.

This, he wrote in his weekly newsletter, had happened in New Zealand which was once declared coronavirus-free only to impose lockdown again thanks to a “second wave”.

SA was not immune to this, even though daily infections were low at this point but could rise if people behaved recklessly, he said.

“As the country moves to alert level 2, many restrictions on social and economic activity have been lifted. With this comes increased risk of transmission,” wrote the president.

“We now need to manage this risk and ensure the gains we have made thus far in containing the pandemic’s spread are not reversed. The greatest threat to the health of [the] nation right now is complacency.

“It may be that we are now permitted to meet friends and family, to visit entertainment venues, to travel for leisure and to consume alcohol in restaurants, bars and taverns. But as the adage goes, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Ramaphosa said the lifting of the ban on tobacco and booze and other restrictions did not mean they would not return should the country experience a significant rise in infections.

“This pandemic is a matter of life and death. We need to adapt and we need to be vigilant.”

He emphasised that the move to level 2 was not a “free-for-all” — everyone was expected to continue wearing masks, practise social distancing and wash their hands regularly.

TimesLIVE

FULL ADDRESS | Lockdown level 2 implemented

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