Ramaphosa reaches out to Putin for technical expertise on infection control
In an effort to encourage social distancing, the president on Saturday convened a virtual meeting of the co-ordinating council from his home.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday reached out to Russian President Vladimir Putin to ask for technical expertise on infection control as South Africa intensified its fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
I spoke to President Vladimir Putin and asked for technical expertise on infection control, supply of lifesaving equipment for mobile testing & infection control. South Africa has a long friendship with Russia & they have supported China, Italy & US in the fight against #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/Dofex0K2ee— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 4, 2020
Mass screenings were being rolled out across the country with the Department of Health in Gauteng appealing for donations of personal protective equipment and ventilators for frontline workers.
In an effort to encourage social distancing, Ramaphosa earlier on Saturday convened a virtual meeting of the co-ordinating council from his home.
I have convened a special President’s Coordinating Council meeting this morning to discuss progress & challenges on implementation of the national & provincial responses to #COVID19, the lockdown & our economic recovery plan. Attending is the DP, Ministers, 9 Premiers & SALGA. pic.twitter.com/fx69Iml3eU— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 4, 2020
The high-tech conference included Deputy President David Mabuza, Cabinet ministers, and the country’s nine provincial premiers. It was to discuss progress and challenges on the implementation of the national and provincial responses to fight COVID-19, the national lockdown, and the government’s economic recovery plan.
With over 1,500 known coronavirus cases in South Africa, Ramaphosa called for a co-ordinated response between the national government and the provincial structures.
“As we know that at provincial level, you have set-up your own command councils and Minister [Nkosazana] Dlamini-Zuma, the deputy president and myself felt there was a need - as a number of you did – to have this type of meeting,” he said.
The president also announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offered assistance with innovative mass-based testing kits and research. He said Bill Gates commended “the swift and decisive action South Africa has taken on COVID-19.”
The @GatesFoundation has supported our health needs for many years. They have offered assistance with innovative mass-based testing kits and research. I spoke to @BillGates and he commended the swift and decisive action South Africa has taken on #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/CSfFLYqnzA— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 4, 2020
Ramaphosa in his capacity as the current chairperson of the African Union (AU) also convened a second and follow-up teleconference meeting of the AU Bureau of Heads of State and Government on Friday.
The Bureau received presentations from the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Dr John Nkengasong, Director of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and French President Emmanuel Macron.
I spoke to @WHO DG @DrTedros & we discussed support for the continent on #COVID19 as we face public health challenges and consequent economic damage. @WHO is already supporting @AfricaCDC and individual countries. South Africa is leading the @_AfricanUnion response to #COVID19 ☎️ pic.twitter.com/ElEFsD7ABN— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 4, 2020
UNSG @AntonioGuterres has expressed solidarity with the continent. The @UN are aware of specific spatial challenges in Africa that make isolation and distancing difficult and have championed the fight for fair & equitable distribution of medical supplies for developing countries. pic.twitter.com/4Vz7EN6LOO— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 4, 2020
For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.