South African President on COVID-19: “The Storm is Upon Us”

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[South Africa\COVID-19]
NPR: "South Africa has now surpassed Italy, Pakistan, Spain and Iran in the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections, with more than 276,000 cases and more than 4,000 related deaths."
Photo: YouTube

The reemergence of COVID-19 in South Africa has President Cyril Ramaphosa worried.

In a somber speech broadcast in prime time on Sunday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa painted a worrying picture as the new coronavirus spikes in the country.

"The storm is upon us," he said.

South Africa has now surpassed Italy, Pakistan, Spain and Iran in the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections, with more than 276,000 cases and more than 4,000 related deaths. Ramaphosa warned that the worst is yet to come, with some models predicting 40,000 to 50,000 deaths in the country before the end of the year.

He said some hospitals have begun turning away sick patients. So, he reimposed a ban on the sale and distribution of alcohol and rolled out a nighttime curfew. The hope is that alcohol-related incidents will plummet and open up emergency room beds for COVID-19 patients.

In March, South Africa imposed one of the earliest and most draconian lockdowns of any country and successfully flattened the curve of new infection numbers. Ramaphosa said that bought the country time to learn about COVID-19, expand testing and beef up hospital capabilities. He credited the social restrictions with bringing down the death rate to about 1%, among the lowest in the world.

Slowly, however, South Africa rolled back its confinement and, as it did, the virus began to spread faster.

For the rest of this NPR story log on to: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/13/8904069...

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