Since the relaxation of the COVID-19 regulations and the opening of the economy, new infections have increased drastically. This can be attributed to people's indifference to regulations and keeping to COVID-19 hygiene practices.
Gauteng has now become the new hotspot of the pandemic, with positive cases surpassing the 100 000 mark and climbing at an alarming rate. The Gauteng death rate is close to 700.
Tshwane's cases are nearing 20 000 and Regions 1, 3 and 4 are emerging as hotspot areas.
At the moment there is no vaccine for the virus. Therefore, citizens need to change their lifestyle and adapt their behaviours as this virus is here to stay.
In his address on Sunday, 12 July 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa appealed to citizens to be vigilant and maintain a social distance of at least two metres, to continue to practise personal hygiene and to wear face masks whenever they leave their homes.
It is now our responsibility as citizens to flatten the curve. You can play your part by ensuring that you avoid crowded places and areas, if possible.
COVID-19 mainly spreads from person to person through small droplets from the mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing. This is the reason why people should wear face masks.
Wearing a face mask should also be the norm when we interact with our family, friends or colleagues. The virus does not know or care about these relationships. Do not relax and let your guard down when you are with your loved ones. Treat everyone, including yourself, as if they are infected.
A significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms ("asymptomatic") and those who develop symptoms ("pre-symptomatic") can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity – for example by speaking, coughing or sneezing – even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms.
The lockdown and accompanying regulations cannot stop the virus. It is now in our hands and everybody's best interest to stop the spread of this pandemic.
Here are some of the basics that people must practise in order to flatten the curve:
- Stay at home as much as you can
- Clean your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitiser
- Maintain a social distance of at least two metres
- Wear a face mask when you leave your home
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes
- Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention