Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize will be on the spot next month when he addresses parliament and the nation his department’s readiness to deal with the global pandemic of coronavirus.
This is at the behest of the Democratic Alliance (DA) who announced, today, that parliament’s programming committee scheduled the debate for Thursday 5 March 2020.
“The DA welcomes the speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise’s decision to grant a debate of national importance on the state of South Africa’s readiness to deal with Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus. This request was made in accordance with Section 130 (1-8) of the National Assembly rules,” said the party in a statement
The party would also like to see the table an inter-ministerial strategy on this issue.
“The reality is that the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the globe and most recently on the continent. This has health, economic and international relations consequences for the country. This is why an inter-ministerial plan is critical in order to ensure that all bases are covered,” explained the party.
Globally, more than 82,000 people have been infected with the virus, with more than 2,800 confirmed deaths. Although the virus has mainly spread through China, cases have been confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that the window of opportunity that Africa has had to prepare for the novel coronavirus was fast closing.
The party also expressed concern about the severe strain South African health system is under.
“A health crisis like this one could very well dissipate our ability to function. That is why every measure must be taken to ensure that we are prepared for every eventuality. While early detection is key, it is critical that the health system readies itself for a full flown outbreak.”
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.