“As the lockdown period gradually eases, life will slowly return. But it will not be the life we have known before. “
According to Ramaphosa, there are still many unknown aspects regarding the pandemic, but experts agree that the virus will remain a threat to public health worldwide for a long time.
“We must, therefore, be prepared to live with the coronavirus in our midst for another year or more. We must be prepared for a new reality where the fight against Covid-19 becomes part of our daily lives. ”
Ramaphosa again emphasized that the countrywide secession period for South Africa was strategically beneficial. “It has won us precious time to prepare our health care system and introduce controls. This has slowed down the transfer and saved lives. ”
According to Ramaphosa, South Africans, like other countries’ citizens, are restless and frustrated with the restriction of personal freedoms. “Since the start of the nationwide secession period, most South Africans have complied with the regulations set for their own health and safety. They have made an informed decision to do so, and understand that it is necessary for their own lives and those of everyone around them. ”
The transition to the next phase of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, namely recovery, will be even more difficult, Ramaphosa writes. “The risk of infections will increase. The pressure on our clinics, hospitals and medical staff will increase. ”
Ramaphosa writes health experts from around the world warn of a “second wave” of infections as public life resumes. “In a number of countries, including Germany, Iran and China, there has been an increase in new infections since they relaxed certain restrictions. Here with us it will be no different. We can and should expect infections to rise as more people return to work. We have to accept reality, prepare for it and adapt to it. ”
According to Ramaphosa, the next phase of the national response is as much about continuity as it is about change or innovation. “We will strengthen our intensive screening, testing and case management program. We will introduce new measures to make contact detection more efficient. We will have to apply the mass disinfection of workplaces, public transport and other spaces. ”
According to Ramaphosa, the relaxation of lockdown regulations should not lead to careless behavior by individuals or reckless practices by businesses just because they are eager to resume their operations at the expense of human health.
“The coronavirus crisis will pass. But as long as it poses a threat to human lives, we must remain vigilant, diligent and responsible. Now more than ever, the fate of each of us is determined by the behavior of each individual. ”
The lockdown period was adjusted to level 4 at the beginning of May, which meant that many people started working with businesses in certain sectors that could resume their operations.
“The national coronavirus alert level is now at 4, which means that extreme precautions are still in place to limit community transmission. Our goal is to consistently lower the alert level by limiting the infection rate and getting our health system ready for the inevitable increase in cases. ”
Ramaphosa believes the change people will make in their behavior will ultimately determine the country’s success in coping with the virus.
“Even after the lockdown period, especially after the period, we will still have to maintain social distance, wear face masks, wash hands regularly and avoid contact with other people. We’re going to have to reorganize workplaces, schools, universities, colleges and other public places in order to restrict transfer. “
The ways in which worship, socialization, practice and gathering take place will have to be changed in order to limit the opportunity for the virus to spread. “It is a reality that countries across the world are facing,” Ramaphosa writes. “Even those countries that have relaxed their lockdown regulations do so tentatively and with great caution.”