Fellow South Africans,
In just four days from now, we will be ushering in a new year.
This is traditionally a time of festivity and celebrating.
Unfortunately, for us here in South Africa and for others around the world, there is little cause
for celebration this year.
Yesterday, we passed the mark of more than one million confirmed coronavirus cases in our country.
Nearly 27,000 South Africans are known to have died from COVID-19.
The number of new coronavirus infections is climbing at an unprecedented rate.
More than 50,000 new cases have been reported since Christmas Eve.
The majority of new cases are emerging in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.
Infections are also alarmingly on the rise in Limpopo.
Infections are on the rise in part because, as humans, we are social beings and have a need
to socialise with one another.
We feel the need to visit friends and family, we attend religious services and we go to parties.
But this is a time of heightened danger in the face of a global pandemic.
Across the world countries are having to take drastic measures to curb new waves of infections.
We will all have heard that there is a new variant of COVID-19 that is now well-established in our country.
As our scientists study this variant – called 501.V2 – and its spread, it appears that it may be more contagious than the virus that drove the first wave of infections.
The rapid rise in infections is being fuelled by so-called super-spreader events, including like end-of-year functions, family and social gatherings, and music and cultural events.
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