Health department to increase COVID-19 campaigns

2020-Mar-08   14:53

Health department to increase COVID-19 campaigns
Chinese Ambassador in South Africa, Lin Songtian
Source: Gomolemo Mothomogolo

- Gomolemo Mothomogolo

Department of Health has announced that it will enhance their awareness campaign following the first confirmed case of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. This after a 38-year-old man tested positive for the virus after traveling to Italy with his wife. The couple were part of a group of 10 people and they arrived back in South Africa on the 1st of March 2020.

“We are going to be increasing on the area of awareness. We are going to be discussing with various groupings particularly the sporting community and the churches especially with coming gatherings (Easter weekend] the hospitality industry to look at how we approach this issue. It is going to be a consultative process. but we need to know how we are going deal with the next few months because the approach and the presentation of the corona virus is going to change a little bit,” said Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize.

The Minister was speaking during a media briefing in Hilton, near Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, where he was allaying fears about COVID-19 and also to outline the province’s state of readiness to deal with the virus. 

He also appealed to Cowan House Preparatory School where one of the learner’s parents tested positive for the coronavirus, to resume classes after suspending them on Friday until they get clarity from government. 

Dr Mkhize also warned against the media and citizens to stop spreading fake news about the spread of the virus and appealed for calm as “government is handling the matter.”

Meanwhile, despite the virus spreading globally, Chinese Ambassador in South Africa, Lin Songtian said they have brought the spread of virus at the epicentre in Wuhan, China, under control. He said China has adopted an aggressive approach to prevent the virus from spreading.

“China’s prevention and control measures have provided the Chinese approach and the Chinese’s prescription for the global response to the epidemic. The WHO expert team after their visit to China said the most experienced and successful country in fighting the COVID-19.

 All countries should learn in China’s aggressive fighting mechanisms and this was the conclusion of the expert team of the WHO,” said Songtian during a media briefing at the Chinese embassy in Pretoria on Friday.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that COVID-19 is spreading rapidly across the world with 2736 cases reported from 47 countries and territories. The health agency said a total of 98 023 cases have been reported globally with 3380 deaths.

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