Let us spare a thought to our doctors, nurses and other health workers!

Our country is in the midst of a serious health crisis. People are dying at an unprecedented rate. Many families have experienced the trauma of losing a loved one. Others have lost more than one. This pandemic is now affecting the young and the old and no one is sure about how it will impact them. Some are lucky that they will only experience mild symptoms. Others become gravely ill and others succumb due to pneumonia and other underlying illnesses.

This pandemic is real and there rests a massive responsibility on all South Africans to do everything in their power to stop the further spread and trauma caused by the virus.

Let us spare a thought to the thousands of doctors, nurses and other health workers who are sacrificing themselves to take care of everyone who is currently affected by the virus. The sudden surge in COVID-19 cases is putting a lot of pressure on the health care system no matter how well prepared they are.

The situation is further worsened by the high number of doctors, nurses and health workers who are also contracting the virus. We are therefore thankful for every health care professional and worker who continue to serve thousands of sick patients’ day and day out, despite the risks they themselves face. This is certainly no easy job. It is life-threatening and they need our support!

Agri SA, therefore, appeals to the broader public and especially our farmers, farm workers and the broader agricultural sector to be vigilant at all times and to take every precaution possible to avoid contracting and spreading the virus.

We all also appeal to those who continue to dismiss the seriousness of the pandemic and spreading false news about so-called conspiracy theories or so-called healing effects of quick fix animal ‘vaccines’ to refrain from it. This is not only embarrassing for the sector but also dangerous. Leave it to the world’s leading virology scientists to determine the best possible, safe and most effective treatment to fight the COVID-19 19 pandemic.

Agri SA however, expresses its concerns with the lack of urgency by the South African government to access and secure enough vaccines for our people. More resources must be made available to assist our scientists and bolster their capacity to come up with medical solutions based on rigorous and proven scientific research to overcome this pandemic.

A big concern, however, remains the economy and the impact the adjusted level three restrictions have on small businesses, especially the wine farming, tourism, entertainment and alcoholic and beverage sector. The relevant ministries must provide the necessary assistance and guidance to these sectors to help them to remain in business and keep people employed.

The pandemic, it seems will be with us for some time. Let us support our health care professionals and workers, invest in scientific research, secure large amounts of effective vaccines timeously and assist small businesses and economic sectors that are facing real hardship as a result of the level three restrictions. This pandemic is not insurmountable. However, we must prioritise and be rational at all times.

Enquiries: Christo van der Rheede Agri SA, Executive Director (C) 083 380 3492