17 Sep President Message on COVID19 17-09-2020
My fellow South Africans,
Exactly half a year has passed since we declared a national state of disaster in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
In that time, more than 15,000 South Africans have lost their lives to the disease and more than 650,000 have been confirmed as infected.
Our economy and our society have suffered great devastation.
We have endured a fierce and destructive storm.
But, by standing together, by remaining resolute, we have withstood it.
Two months ago, at the height of the storm, we were recording around 12,000 new cases a day.
Now, we are on average recording less than 2,000 cases a day.
We now have a recovery rate of 89%.
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.
I wish to applaud you, the people of South Africa, for this achievement and for the thousands of lives that have been saved through your collective actions.
This achievement has also been recognised by the World Health Organisation, which has been working closely with us to strengthen our response.
As we said earlier they have continued to give us advice and have even deployed their experts to our country.