President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was impressed with preparations in the Western Cape to contain the coronavirus, but it was clear assistance beyond the Western Cape was necessary.
“Even with the preparations they have made, they will need more bed capacity as the disease reaches its peak. They need help from outside the province, including additional funding and health personnel,” Ramaphosa wrote in his letter.
He alluded to the next phase of government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country, which will include coordination from all spheres of government.
“We need an integrated strategy that brings together the national, provincial and local spheres of government.”
The Western Cape has the most Covid-19 deaths and infections in the country, most of which are concentrated in Cape Town. The country’s death toll is sitting at 998, with 48 285 confirmed infections.
“This provides the clearest evidence yet that we are correct to treat coronavirus as a national disaster,” the president said.
“We must mobilise and deploy all the necessary resources we have in the country. We need an integrated strategy that brings together the national, provincial and local spheres of government,” he continued.
Weekly newspaper the Sunday Times reported over the weekend that national ministers and deputies will be deployed across different provinces.
Ramaphosa, who urged South Africans not to be “alarmist” when dealing with the pandemic, also shared his concerns about the Eastern Cape.
He said it had the fastest growing infection rate, some of which were brought into the Eastern Cape by those travelling from the Western Cape.
“What this tells us is that no part of the country is an island and that all South Africans, no matter where they live, need to remain vigilant and prepared,” Ramaphosa said.
He used this as an example of why interprovincial travel remained prohibited at Alert Level 3 of the Covid-19 lockdown.