A Cape Town resident has told an Australian news channel that there are “many people trying to save this beautiful land” of South Africa. (See video at bottom of page.)
Giving an eye witness account from SA, Cape Town resident Bianca Lynch – who is married to an Australian – told 9 News how the local communities are stepping up.
“It’s pretty incredible,” she says. “Restaurants and breweries are turning into soup kitchens, town halls are housing the homeless, support is pouring into foundations for food parcels, winter gear, medical supplies.”
She says: “Compassion is really shining – there are many people trying to protect this beautiful land, its celebrated cultures, varying wildlife and its humanity… so it really is a world in one country.”
Bianca says there is a “restless” feeling in SA after 50 days of lockdown, but that the easing of restrictions to allow exercise has been an “incredible help” to many of the country’s 57 million citizens.
She says it would be hard to compare the situation in South Africa to Australia, because in SA “more people are worried about going hungry than catching the virus, and social distancing is a luxury here”.
Bianca observes that a “very large portion of our population is uneducated and we have 11 official languages” making it hard for everyone to understand the rules and regulations.
Australia on the other hand, has a third of the population, people are spread out, it’s first world and has one official language that everyone can understand, says Bianca.
She adds: “Our death rate is the same… as comforting as it can be.”
Bianca says South African officials have their hands full, the government and economy are under pressure, and SA is “facing what is now a humanitarian crisis”.
The Australian news show highlighted the mass queues in SA for food, masks and hand sanitisers where health experts advised the government of a “grim” prediction of 40,000 deaths in SA before the end of the year. The programme also showed mass vertical graves in Brazil, and the poverty in India as many who are now unemployed return to their villages (with a BBC reporter giving his shoes to one man who had over 100km to walk).
Since this show aired on Thursday, the world has now recorded over 5 million covid-19 cases (5,198,686) and 334,694 deaths. Over 2 million have recovered. In SA there have been 19,137 cases recorded and 369 deaths, according to Worldometers.
WATCH South African eye witness account during coronavirus times
FOOD QUEUES, MASS GRAVES AND BAREFOOT POVERTY: How South Africa, Brazil and India are suffering as COVID-19 cases spike.Plus: Eye-witness account of South Africa’s unique battle with COVID-19.#9NewsWatch | May 21
Posted by 9 News on Thursday, May 21, 2020