CAPE TOWN – The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the government of South Africa for its determined efforts that have helped bend the Covid-19 pandemic curve.
The country for six consecutive weeks has shown a decline in the number of confirmed cases, recording fewer than 2000 cases a day. Two months ago, it was recording about 12 000 cases daily.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, said: “The strong commitment and leadership by the South African government have been and continue to be instrumental in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. Without this dedication, we would not be where we are today. The latest trends in South Africa are clearly encouraging. However, we must remain vigilant and be prepared to effectively tackle any resurgence. We are not yet out of the woods and so we must not relax.”
With the declining cases, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday, the easing of restrictions from alert level 2 to alter level 1. However, he emphasized that public health measures including handwashing, wearing masks in public places and physical distancing will remain in force.
“Even as restrictions have eased over the last month with our move to alert level 2, there has been a gradual, but steady, decline in new infections, hospitalisations and deaths. Demand for hospital beds, ventilators, oxygen and other essential medical requirements has also reduced steadily. We have succeeded in overcoming the worst phase of this epidemic while protecting the capacity of our health system,” Ramaphosa during his address.
Dr Owen Kaluwa WHO Country Representative for South Africa said: “We must do all it takes to stay the course. Even as the restrictions are being relaxed, preventive measures by individuals are often the critical barrier against Covid-19 infection.”
However, with a cumulative 655 572 cases, 15 772 deaths and 585 303 recoveries, the country still accounts for nearly half of all cases in Africa.
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