Premier Alan Winde warns residents to stop spreading fake news about a second lockdown
Cape Town – Premier Alan Winde has denounced the recent speculation which purports that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the country and announce a second lockdown.
Over the past week, voice notes and social media posts have been circulating about South Africa going into a second lockdown following an increase in Covid-19 cases.
Winde has said this is not the case.
“There has been a lot of speculation and some fake news circulating indicating that the president will address the nation this week and announce a second lockdown in light of increasing case numbers in the country.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated on Tuesday that this was not true. Additionally, each of his prior addresses have been preceded by a meeting of the President's Coordinating Council. This meeting is attended by the premiers of all nine provinces, and I have not, at this stage, received any communication that a PCC meeting has been scheduled,” Winde said.
“I therefore urge residents not to circulate messages that do not come from an official source, and that have not been verified.”
Winde explained that a second lockdown would devastate the economy, which has already been heavily impacted by Covid-19, the hard lockdown and subsequent alert levels.
“A second lockdown will result in more jobs lost, more people going hungry and a deepening humanitarian crisis.
“However, I do want to make crystal clear that the best defence we have from a major spike in cases that would force additional restrictions to slow the spread, is our own behaviour,” he said.
“The power to prevent that lies in each and every one of our hands right now.”
On Wednesday morning the Presidency announced Ramaphosa was in self-quarantine.
Ramaphosa had attended a fundraising dinner at the weekend and a guest who also attended the event had tested positive for the coronavirus. The president is showing no symptoms and will have regular tests, the Presidency said.
Winded added that South Africa now had the opportunity, and the experiences elsewhere in the world, to take the steps necessary to slow the spread of the virus.
“The Western Cape government has the systems in place that allow us to track infections and zoom in where ’bushfires’ occur. In recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of young people contracting Covid-19, as well as an increase in the test positivity rate in the private sector.
“Young people are likely to experience mild symptoms, if any, and to recover without complications but they could also infect someone who is at risk of serious illness or death,” Winde said.
“I therefore appeal to everyone to understand the seriousness of this situation and to take the appropriate steps to protect yourself.”
He encouraged everyone to wear their masks, keep a safe distance, and regularly washing their hands. Winde further appealed to businesses to evaluate their safety protocols to see whether there may be gaps, or room for improvement, and to ensure that they are fully compliant with the regulations.
“Taking additional steps to prevent infections now, will help residents, businesses and our economy in the long run.
“Now is the time for us all to be taking responsibility so that we can beat Covid-19, and ensure that we are able to move forward, and start rebuilding this province and this country.”