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Five days of mourning for COVID-19 and GBVF victims

South Africans are called to undertake five days of mourning to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF). 

 

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The five days of mourning commences on Wednesday, 25 November until Sunday, 29 November 2020. 

“All national flags will fly at half-mast during the five days of mourning in a united move to honour all those who have succumbed to COVID-19, gender-based violence and femicide,” said Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola. 

The Covid-19 pandemic and its effects has caused a loss of lives and jobs across the world. Despite the hard lockdowns implemented to slow the spread of the virus, 1,34 million lives have been lost worldwide with more than 20 000 of those coming from South Africa. 

The effects of the lockdown meant that many had to stay home and experience a decline in income or retrenchment from their jobs.

This also meant that many victims of GBVF (mostly women and children) were forced to remain indoors with their perpetrators and many lost their lives as a result of this. 

Many protests were organized in an attempt to get the South African government to take this seriously, which did see the president announcing that more shelters would be opened across the country to safeguard victims of GBVF.   

While there has been a drop in the number of sexual offences reported between July and September 2020, the misfortune of GBVF continues to torment women and children in the country. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa previously stated that South Africa was amidst two devastating epidemics: the coronavirus and what he described as the 'war on women'. 

“As we look back on a year of much pain and sorrow, it is important as a nation that we should honour and remember all those who have succumbed to this disease,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said when he took to the podium on 11 November 2020

“It will be appropriate that during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children – which is the second pandemic we are confronting – we demonstrate our remembrance of all those who have departed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and gender-based violence,” he added. 

It is important that South Africans do everything they can to curb the spread of the virus and prevent even more deaths from occurring. 

After 5 269 062 tests conducted in total, South Africa now has a total of 765 409 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 2 646 of these cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours. 

The death toll from COVID-19 stands at 20 845, an increase of 86 deaths since yesterday's update.

Recoveries are now at 707 784.

South Africa has a recovery rate of 92.5%.

"In a united move to honour and remember all those who have succumbed to COVID-19 and GBVF, all citizens are encouraged to wear attires and ornaments which symbolise mourning based on their culture, tradition and religious belief,” said Minister Ronald Lamola. 

 

 

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