Thursday, 26 March 2020

Pretoria: The confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has risen by 218 – bringing the total number of cases to 927.

The Ministry of Health released the latest figures on Thursday afternoon. Gauteng has the highest number of cases with 409 people testing positive for the virus.

The Western Cape has 229 cases, KwaZulu-Natal has 134, Free State 49, North West five, Mpumalanga nine, Limpopo six, Eastern Cape five and Northern Cape two. There’s 79 unallocated cases.

Teleconference with AU Bureau

As the number of COVID-19 cases increase around the world, President Cyril Ramaphosa, in his capacity as the African Union Chair hosted a teleconference with the members of the AU Bureau to coordinate the continent’s approach to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The leaders agreed to establish the Africa Coronavirus Fund, a solidarity fund which will help countries that are going to be in need.

“We were able to raise 17 million dollars amongst the various countries. Africa has a clear position — to address this disease from a unified point of view. We agreed that no single country in the continent should try to tackle this alone.

“We should have a coordinated approach and work together, share information and heighten communications so that we know exactly what each country is doing about COVID-19,” President Ramaphosa said.

The leaders on the continent agreed that all five regions should establish a task force that will work together, including the Ministers of health, to tackle the pandemic.

“We also agreed that we needed to call on the developed economies to come to Africa’s assistance from an economic point of view so that they provide stimulus, so that we can have the resources to support our economies but also to allow the manufactured goods that we need from various countries such as medical supplies to be imported into Africa. They should not close Africa off,” the President said.

G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting

President Ramaphosa also participated in a virtual extraordinary G20 Leaders’ Summit Meeting to coordinate an international response to the current pandemic.

“Africa has called upon the countries of the developed economies to support stimulus packages to have debt relief from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so that countries are able to halt their interest payment and focus on fighting the Coronavirus.

He said the G20 leaders were united in fighting the virus, saving lives and supporting economies that are under stress.

“We have a disease that is spreading throughout the world, as countries of the world we need to unite and fight this common enemy. We are supportive of efforts that are going to lead to sharing of information, working together from a research point of view so that we combine resources as we possibly can,” the President said.