JOHANNESBURG - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed concern over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
In his weekly newsletter issued on Monday, the president also defended the lockdown that has remained in place since March 27 reduce the rapid spread of the virus.
Ramaphosa said the total number of cases would pass the 50,000 mark in the coming week, while fatalities would also likely surpass 1,000.
"Like many South Africans, I too have been worried as I watch these figures keep rising.
"While these numbers are broadly in line with what the various models had projected, there is a big difference between looking at a graph on a piece of paper and seeing real people becoming infected, some getting ill and some dying," he said.
As of Sunday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa was at 48,285, out of which 998 people had lost their lives, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said.
Ramaphosa said the number of infections was probably rising faster than most people had imagined, a cause for concern but not alarm.
"As we have shown, we can slow the spread of the disease, and we should continue to take all measures possible to continue to flatten the infection curve," he wrote in his newsletter.