"We are dealing with human lives" - President @CyrilRamaphosa addressing the nation on the coronavirus pandemic and government action.
Nearly 7 weeks since the start of the lockdown.

South Africans have shown great courage, resilience and strength.

Despite its duration and severity, the lockdown is necessary. Without it, the impact would have been devastating.

Decisions informed by science & evidence.
Without the lockdown, the cases by now would have been at 80 000, and the death toll 8 times current deaths.

To date, 219 people have lost their lives.

With similar timelines & different action, other countries (cites the US & the UK) have suffered far greater deaths.
The positivity rate has remained rather low and stable.
The level of confirmed infections is at 118 coronavirus cases per million people.
During the lockdown, government has made great strides in preparing SA. The public health mobilisation is the greatest SA has ever done (or had to do)

- 25 000 additional beds available for quarantine.
- Sourced & produced substantial quantities of medical supplies, PPEs etc.
As SA has strengthened the public health response, has also put in place measures to try safeguard the economy and the most vulnerable.

The economic and social relief package has been key in this regard.
- R200 Billion loan guarantee scheme has begun to process applications from SMMEs.

- An additional R5billion has been paid out to social grant recipients.

- 3 million unemployed South Africans have so far applied for the R350 monthly grant. Applications are still open.
Solidarity Fund has raised R2.7billion in commitments from individuals, companies & foundations.

Elma Group of Foundations donation cited as an example of recent contributors.

SA receives support from many governments. Specifically names US for the donation of 1000 ventilators.
Domestic violence cases of great concern.
Important to focus on these.
SA ready to further ease the lockdown & gradual opening of the economy.

Will continue to proceed with caution, informed by the best available evidence & guided by local & international experts.
Goal is to steadily increase economic activity while putting measures in place to curb the spread of the virus.
President reiterates the 5 Levels.

Areas may be designated at different levels.

For now infections are concentrated in a few metropolitan areas. Restrictions here will continue at Level 4.

Will begin consultations with a view to having the rest of country at Level 3.
Changes to Level 4 Regulations will be announced in the coming days. These will include the easing of some restrictions - including on exercise.
KEY POINT:
At the end of May,
- Areas where coronavirus infections are still high (and rising) will remain at Level 4.
- All other areas will go down to Level 3.
- Important to note that movement from areas at Level 4 will be restricted. (obvs)
To ensure that this is done correctly, there will need to be identification of infection 'hot spots' and concerted efforts to reduce infections across the board.

Personal responsibility remains key.
Take personal responsibility for own health and the health of others.
- Infections will inevitably rise as the lockdown regulations are eased.
- Coronavirus will remain a threat for some time to come.
- The fight against the pandemic is now part of our daily lives & will remain so.
- Success will come from the changes we make in our daily lives.
"Kissing is now a thing of the past"

OWN SIDE NOTE: Oi, Mr President. I had plans for my lips. 😩
We will need to adapt to new ways of being - going to church, socialising, exercising, meeting… 

We need to sustain gains from the lockdown.

The test is now.

Our actions must ultimately save the lives of many & limit the devastation of this pandemic.
What is required from all of us?:
- Vigilance
- Responsibility
- Discipline
The executive acknowledges that as we have confronted this challenge there have been times when they have fallen short of expectations.

These include inconsistency and lack of clarity.

Executive commits to doing better in this regard & that decisions are taken in good faith.
Executive commits to be transparent and take the nation into its confidence.

To continue to be forthright on the state of the pandemic - to communicate when things are bad & could get worse.

"We are, after all, a consultative government"
Cabinet (that's all of cabinet, not just the NCCC) will develop a clear path forward and this will be communicated in due course.
We are traversing uncharted territory, mistakes will be made… the executive commits to correcting these mistakes and learning throughout.
"The greatest test will be our willingness to embrace change… we need to stand as one nation and commit to building a stronger South Africa"

OWN SIDE NOTE: John was found shaking behind a podium…
President @CyrilRamaphosa quotes one of his predecessors, Tata Rolihlahla Mandela, when confronted by the HIV pandemic and the need to act together and decisively. (well…)

He also quotes FD Roosevelt, but I won't quote him here. 🙂

Fin.
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