Siyabuya calls on all South Africans to give a high priority to health and safety during religious observance and holiday travel over the next two months.
“Personal and community health is vital if we are to defeat the coronavirus and restore economic growth and job creation,” said Melene Rossouw, who is leading the Siyabuya campaign to generate public mobilisation for actions that will help economic recovery and support for the poor, who have been particularly hard hit.
“Covid-19 is destroying lives and livelihoods and we must work together to defeat it. We do not want a new wave of infections and deaths,” she said.
Siyabuya, launched this week, aims get South Africans working together to help the country come back stronger from the coronavirus pandemic. This means individuals taking care of themselves, their families and their communities by adopting public hygiene habits (mask, sanitise, physical distance), getting immunised, feeding people who need food and creating jobs by letting every business flourish.
“April and May include major religious observances for the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, combined with a holiday period. That means gatherings, family events and travel, all of which can spread the virus and give rise to a deadly third wave of infections across the country. If the third wave of infections are seeded in the coming few weeks we will again have a bleak winter where poorer households are forced indoors with no option of physical distancing,” Melene said.
“Medical experts around the world are urging people to be observant, but careful. It is vital that people wear masks, ensure physical distancing, sanitise and wash hands frequently. Please limit travel where possible, and be aware of the risks of small and large gatherings.
“When vaccines become available, please ensure that you and your family are immunised.
“We must do everything we can to avoid more deaths, more job losses, more poverty and misery. That would take us many steps backward, just when we are seeing hopeful signs of a recovery. So please, listen to the experts and take care of yourself and your family this weekend and over the coming weeks,” Melene said.
The Christian Easter and Jewish Pesach take place over the coming weekend. The Muslim Ramadan goes from 13 April to 12 May.