President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday morning urged South Africans to keep distance from parents and grandparents at this time to save their lives.
The president has highlighted that older people are among those most at risk of contracting the coronavirus, along with those with underlying medical conditions.
Ramaphosa said that as part of the national effort to contain the coronavirus, protecting the general population must be matched by efforts to protect people who were at greater risk.
He said that while senior citizens may feel socially isolated and lonely, keeping away could save their lives. He said that sadly, there had been outbreaks at old age homes and care centres resulting in many deaths.
Ramaphosa said that according to new research published by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), a third of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 had at least one comorbidity.
This is a significant concern in a country like South Africa that also has a high prevalence of HIV, TB and diabetes.The president said that we should not expose our elderly mothers and fathers to the virus through social visits, saying that it was best that we all kept in touch by phone or video calls.