Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says the only way South Africans can overcome the spread of COVID-19 is if they act collectively as citizens.

Mkhize says his department has done its utmost to try to curb the spread of this coronavirus.

Speaking at a virtual meeting with experts and researchers in sharing information about COVID-19, Mkhize says the fight against COVID-19 is a people’s war against the virus.

He says, “We will defeat the pandemic on the basis of collective social behavioural change, that creates a whole new culture of distancing, of use of masks, cough etiquette and ensuring that everybody is cautious of their individual roles, because unless our citizens themselves take responsibility of infection control, then off course we will not be able to win.

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Last week, Mkhize warned the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) that the coronavirus pandemic may last for a extended period and all necessary precautions must be adhered to at all times, even when the regulations are eased.

This after Cosatu proposed conditions for government to re-open the economy in a phased manner and said it would provide President Cyril Ramaphosa with a list of conditions that will ensure the rights of all workers.

South Africa has recorded 18 003 confirmed cases, 339 deaths and 8950 recoveries, with the Western Cape accounting for most infections.