South Africa’s coronavirus-related death toll has risen to three as President Cyril Ramaphosa continues to plead with the nation to take the deadly pandemic seriously.
Ramaphosa sent his condolences to the families of those who had lost their loved ones to the global pandemic.
He also announced an increase of confirmed positive cases from 1 280 to 1 326.
Last Thursday, South Africa went into lockdown, banning travel in and out of the country and in between provinces, unless it was for essential goods and services.
The sale of alcohol was banned, restaurants were closed and large gatherings were prohibited in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.
On Monday night, Ramaphosa once again urged South Africans to stay at home, practice self-isolation and social distancing.
“As [the] government, we are aware the lockdown has caused great destruction in all our lives and great upheaval to our economy,” he said, adding it was “absolutely necessary to save thousands of lives in the country”.
Ramaphosa reflected on the fact more than 700 000 people have been infected and affected by the virus, which has killed more than 35 000 people across the globe.
“Our scientists and experts have said the decision to lock down the country is the correct one, without quick action South African would have been in a similar situation as countries that have been adversely affected by this virus.”
While he thanked those who have adhered to the lockdown regulations, he called on those failing to do so to take it seriously.
Ramaphosa admitted the government was learning things on the fly.
“We are going through uncharted territory. We have never gone through such before. A number of mistakes will be made. We ask for our people’s understanding.”
He added the government’s actions were with people’s best interest at heart.