President Ramaphosa addressed South Africans on Thursday night.
The president started addressing South Africans by saying many people do not even know they have the disease.
There are people who have severe symptoms and need to be hospitalized the president said.
These are usually older people and those with underlying disease. For some, Covid-19 is deadly. In SA, at least 75 people lost their lives.
Since I declared the virus as a national disaster on March 15, the goal was to avoid an uncontrollable need for medical treatment in hospitals.
By slowing down the spread of the virus, we were able to prepare our health facilities and obtain the necessary medical supplies in the hope of saving thousands of lives the president said.
There is clear evidence that the state of restriction works. This has slowed the progress of the pandemic in the country.
The World Health Organization has our faith for our speedy action based on scientific facts.
According to the President, the restriction cannot be sustained indefinitely. We need to eat and work, businesses have to start doing business again.
Here's how it's going to work:— Ferial Haffajee (@ferialhaffajee) April 23, 2020
Level 5 – hard lockdown
Level 4 – some activity
Level 3 – easing of some restrictions
Level 2 – further easing of restrictions with the maintenance of distancing and restrictions on socialising
Level 1 – Almost back to normal but not quite
To ensure that we remain focused on combating the virus, there will be a national, provincial and local response plan. We are currently at level 5 the president said.
When South Africa move to level 4 on May 1, our borders will remain closed for international travel except for the repatriation of citizens the president said.
All events except funerals will still be prohibited. Older people and those with underlying illnesses must stay home and take additional measures.
The sale of cigarettes will be allowed. It is important to note that various restrictions will be in effect as long as the risk of the virus is present.
Bars and so on will remain closed. Concerts, sporting events and religious events will not be allowed until it is safe.
If people do not travel or move around, the virus does not travel. We know that one funeral in Port St. Johns and one church service in Bloemfontein led to large numbers of infections in their respective provinces. Most cases are found in just six subways. These are Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Cape Town, Buffallo City, Ethekwini and Mangaung.
This is why we still limit people as strictly as possible and ask people to avoid contact with each other. Ultimately, it is our own actions as individuals that will determine how quickly the virus spreads. If we adhere to the guidelines, we can keep it under control the president said.
The President says as we ease the restriction on May 1, we ask citizens to wear face masks at all times when they leave their homes. The extraordinary measures we have put in place are accompanied by the extraordinary actions of our medical and other essential workers who are at the forefront in our fight against the virus. We made sure they got everything they needed.
As we slowly ease the restriction, we are increasing our public campaign against the virus as our screening and testing campaigns nationwide.
We are led by the WHO and join other African countries as we increase the virus.
See the full address below: