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.
It has been five months since we declared a national state of disaster to combat the coronavirus pandemic. As I said then, and as I repeat now, never before in the history of our democracy has our country been confronted with such a severe threat – a situation that has demanded an extraordinary response and much sacrifice.
It is now just over 100 days since the first case of coronavirus was identified in South Africa. For 100 days we have been living in the shadow of one of the greatest threats to global health in over 100 years.
It is exactly 10 weeks since we declared a national state of disaster in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, we have implemented severe and unprecedented measures – including a nation-wide lockdown – to contain the spread of the virus.