IMFC ready to address challenges presented by Coronavirus
JOHANNESBURG - The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) today held a teleconference call, chaired by Governor of the South African Reserve Bank Lesetja Kganyago and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, and issued the following statement.
“The IMF’s 189 member countries stand united to address the global challenges related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic and we extend our sympathies to all those affected. The economic and financial impact has also been felt globally, creating uncertainty and damaging near-term prospects. We are determined to provide the necessary support to mitigate the impact, especially on the most vulnerable people and countries. We have called upon the IMF to use all its available financing instruments to help member countries in need. We are confident that, working together, we will overcome the challenge facing us and restore growth and prosperity for all.”
Closer to home, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has warned that the coronavirus was spreading fast across the world with 81 countries now affected. But Mkhize said South Africa was ready despite the fact there is no coronavirus case in the country that has been reported.
More than 93 000 people across the world have been infected by the virus with most of the cases in China.
Mkhize told the portfolio committee on health on Wednesday measures were in place and South Africa was ready.
On the continent, Zambia has approved a contingency fund for emergency preparedness, prevention and mitigation measures against Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, local media reported earlier today.
Government spokesperson Dora Siliya told Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) that this was in order to timely protect the public from social, economic and cultural effects that the disease might cause.
The decision was taken after President Edgar Lungu called an urgent cabinet meeting at which the Coronavirus was discussed.
She said Zambia has put measures in place to prevent, detect and respond to any potential outbreak of Covid -19.
Zambia is one of the 13 countries the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified as top priority countries in Africa, which, due to their direct links or high volume of travel to China, need to be particularly vigilant for the Coronavirus.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE