Listen to our Ambassadors: Her Excellency Thenjiwe Mtintso, SA Ambassador to Spain sharing her experience of lockdown in Spain & urges South Africans to be united and disciplined in the fight against Covid-19.
In her warning to citizens to abide to lock down regulations, South Africa’s ambassador to Spain HE Thenjiwe Mtintso described the tragic death of a consular clerk in her office as result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
In a recorded message to South Africans, Mtintso said it was sad not being able to bid her colleague farewell.
“In the embassy, we lost a consular clerk – a very lovely young person. Ten days before her death, we were sitting in a meeting discussing the lock down. She showed no signs of even the flu. Three days before her death, she showed signs of the virus, but unfortunately, she could not be taken to hospital because the hospitals were full,” the ambassador said.
“Her daughter could not attend her funeral…Her husband in whose hands she died could not attend her cremation because he already is in isolation. We, her colleagues, could not attend her cremation. How painful and how sad it is when you cannot even bid farewell to your loved ones.”
Mtintso – along with the rest of Spain – has been in lock down for more than 30 days after government declared a state of alarm on March 14. She said there has been a stark decrease in the number of daily COVID-19 related deaths as result of the lock down.
“Since 34 days ago, the average deaths were 800 per day; but since a few days ago, it was 551 per day. These numbers therefore have gone down. It is thanks to the measures that the Spanish government have taken and it is also thanks to the discipline and compliance by people in Spain,” Mtintso said.
“The only thing that we do in Spain in the face of this horror is to be disciplined, is to comply, and is to pray. This is a silent killer – you don’t know if you are carrying the disease. Spain is much more advanced than South Africa in terms of its infrastructure, but even Spain has found it very difficult to cope.”
Mtintso implored South Africans to abide to government regulations in the fight against COVID-19.
“I as a human being am afraid: not only for my family, but for my country. Coronavirus is a silent, horrible, ruthless, invisible killer of the worst kind. It knows no race, class, gender, age, loyalty, country, wealth, or poverty,” she said.
“Our only defence against this killer is to be disciplined and to comply with the best of our ability. I implore you to follow the anti-Coronavirus measures. We unfortunately do not have any other choice. The alternative is just too ghastly to contemplate. Let us save our children, let us save our family, let us save our people by complying.”