Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize. Picture: GCIS

Every South African should be a soldier in fight against coronavirus, says Mkhize

By Noni Mokati Time of article published Mar 16, 2020

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Johannesburg - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says South Africans should be ready to go to war as means of combating the deadly coronavirus.

"We need to move fast to reduce the speed in which it (coronavirus infections are) is happening. Hard combat means we have to turn ourselves into soldiers, ready to fight. Every South African (should) be a soldier, " Mkhize said, adding "We are determined to suffer as few casualties as possible. We are determined to take hard decisions if need be."

He was addressing journalists at a media briefing on Monday held by several Cabinet ministers including Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo, Cogta Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi among others.

The ministers form part of the National Command Council which is set to meet every three weeks.

Mkhize said the ministers will also be excused from their duties in order to focus on the coronavirus.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared Covid-19 as a national disaster and imposed travel bans over all individuals travelling from Europen countries, the United Kingdom and the United Sates. Up to 35 ports of entry in the country have since been closed as of today.

Schools will officially be closed on Wednesday while the number of people at public gatherings have been restricted to a few number.

Providing updates, on the number of infections, Mkhize said while the number still stood at 61 confirmed cases, the department is still investigating four other cases.

He also said the 114 South Africans repatriated from Wuhan in China and who are currently in quarantine at a private lodge in Limpopo were tested on Sunday and the department was still waiting for results.

Mkhize has also highlighted that the private sector has also come on board as well as NGOs and civil society organisations in a bid to help.

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak visit IOL's #Coronavirus trend page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999


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