Thursday, 09 April 2020

Pretoria: President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed confidence in the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) technology and data which will enable the country to fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“As a nation we should be proud that we have an institution like the CSIR which is always trying to be ahead of the curve in terms of bringing solutions for the nation to utilize,” the President said.

He made the remarks on Thursday during his visit to the Department of Health (DoH)’s COVID-19 Information Centre, a data centre set up to monitor and track the spread of the COVID-19.

“The CSIR has stepped up to the plate and they are doing this in the most scientific way. They have information of 45 million South Africans, through the Department of Health’s National Health Insurance programme. As we are managing the Coronavirus through technology and science, we already have a very good platform and a base.

“They are already linking provinces, districts and all the hospitals, all the beds that are available and hotels that can be used for isolation or quarantine centres. All that is available here and will enable us to fight COVID-19,” the President said.

Vodacom is also working with government to fight against the virus. The company will provide 20 000 healthcare workers with mobile phones that have an app with data from the CSIR.

“The 20 000 phones will come with 500 minutes and five gigs of data for health workers to get information on COVID-19,” Vodacom Group chief executive officer (CEO) Shameel Joosub said.

Vodacom also has an e-school platform which is available in all the 11 official languages with all the syllabus from Grade R up to Grade 12. This is available for free.

“We have also launched a virtual doctor platform with Discovery, hopefully this can take pressure off the health system.” Joosub said.