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March 23, 2020

MEJCON-SA Statement on COVID19

We are witnessing with great concern a rapid escalation of the coronavirus in South Africa. As of Sunday, 22 March 2020, South Africa has 274 confirmed cases of Covid-19, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize announced.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently declared a national state of disaster lasting for three months if not extended or canceled, in terms of the Disaster Management Act.

There is serious and legitimate concern about the risk the pandemic poses to our fragile public healthcare system, and in particular, the risk to our communities without access to clean water and decent sanitation in informal settlements and rural areas. We are mindful that even with the proposed measures imposed by the President, to contain the spread of the virus, which include, amongst other things, the frequent washing of hands, avoidance of crowds, social distancing etc. are difficult if not impossible to implement for our poor and vulnerable communities.

MEJCON does however, urge all its members to take all measures possible to protect themselves and their families during this outbreak in order to limit the spread of the virus. The steering committee commits to providing regular updates on the status of the virus to assist in keeping its members informed and to curb the spread of fake news. We also encourage the members themselves to share any relevant information relating to the virus.

Due to the conditions and restrictions posed by our President and for the safety of our members, MEJCON will be suspending some of its activities until further notice, notably, the annual general meeting and regional meetings.  The steering committee will review the situation in mid-April and give direction accordingly.

Sources of information

  • For all the relevant information and latest updates on the virus you can visit the following government website: https://www.gov.za/Coronavirus – this website will also provide you with information on all the designated hospitals managing the virus in each of the Provinces, with the relevant contact details.
  • National Institute of Communicable Diseases:  http://www.nicd.ac.za
  • The Department of Health has a WhatsApp service: send “Hi” to 0600 123 456 or visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za
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