Parliament, Tuesday, 24 March 2020 – The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, has commended the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The announcement yesterday by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the 21-day lockdown is the right move, as it will curb the spread of Covid-19,” said Dr Dhlomo. In his address on Monday, the President referred to statistics indicating that South Africa has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in sub-Saharan Africa. The rising number of infections is a cause for concern for health practitioners.
Dr Dhlomo said he applauds the excellent leadership provided by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, in collaboration with other ministries, in communicating a clear message to South Africans after the President’s announcement of the lockdown.
“I hope the country will realise that, among other things, this will create stability in terms of health and in the economy of the country,” Dr Dhlomo said.
“The main message is a call for all of us to heighten our personal hygiene: wash your hands often; cough and sneeze into a tissue or an elbow; avoid at all costs close contact with others, as this is how the droplet infection will spread from one person to the other,” he continued.
The committee has called for all South Africans to adhere to the protocols that have been outlined by government, as they will go a long way to get South Africa back to normal within the stipulated time. Other countries that have followed a similar course of action have recorded positive outcomes in addressing the pandemic.
Dr Dhlomo said the deployment of the South African National Defence Force as part of government strategy to address the Covid-19 will assist immensely in areas of concern for government.
South Africa has 554 people who have tested positive of Covid-19 to date, but there are others who are infected, but who are not symptomatic as yet. The lockdown will protect millions of South Africans from becoming infected and will prevent many deaths. Dr Dhlomo emphasised that the benefits of the lockdown will outweigh the inconvenience and advised his fellow citizens to take the following weeks one day at a time.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, DR SIBONGISENI DHLOMO.
For media enquiries or interviews with the Chairperson, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Yoliswa Landu
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8203
Cell: 081 497 4694
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