by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has decried the stigmatisation of people who have tested positive of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in South Africa.
He expressed concern through his weekly letter, published on Monday.
“As a society, we have a collective responsibility to stamp out the stigmatisation of people infected with the coronavirus,” he lamented.
The president said there had been disturbing reports of individuals being ostracised from their communities and of communities protesting against coronavirus patients being admitted to local hospitals and clinics.
“This must stop,” Ramaphosa ordered.
He said just as the country came together to promote acceptance of people living with HIV and stood firm against victimisation, South Africa must show understanding, tolerance, kindness, empathy and compassion for those infected with COVID-19 and for their families.
“It is said that this stigmatisation is driven by fear of contracting the disease and lack of understanding,” the president said.
He said the best way to overcome instinctive fear of illness and contagion was to observe the hygiene protocols that are in place.
Ramaphosa meanwhile warned that in the foreseeable future, the numbers of people infected and dying would continue to rise.
“It may be that things have gotten worse, but we are certain that they will get better,” he assured.
Ramaphosa reminded that scientists and medical advisers told the government that the rate of infections would go up as South Africa moved towards our peak.
“But it will certainly come down,” he assured.
Deaths have exceeded 2 000.
– CAJ News