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SA to welcome first WHO member who will help in fight against COVID-19

A team of more than 40 international health experts assembled by the WHO are due to start working in south Africa soon where they'll be guiding government and professionals through the pandemic.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize at the Ranch Resort in Polokwane, the quarantine site that will house repatriated South Africans from Wuhan, China for 21 days. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Zweli Mkhize will be joined by the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Tedros Ghebreyesus in welcoming the organisation's first member who will be helping South Africa with its fight against COVID-19.

A team of more than 40 international health experts assembled by the WHO are due to start working in south Africa soon where they'll be guiding government and professionals through the pandemic.

South Africa is ranked fifth on the international list of countries with the highest coronavirus infection rates.

South Africa has about R70,000 more confirmed COVID-19 cases than Mexico or Peru -whose infection rates continue to climb.

Last month, when Minister Mkhize made the announcement, he promised that this team of experts assembled by the world health organization would add tremendous value to support South Africa.

Although the daily new infection rate has slowed down in large provinces like Gauteng, the Western Cape, and Eastern Cape, there are concerns about a second wave.

Chairperson of the ministerial advisory committee on COVID-19, Professor Salim Abdool Karim has warned this pandemic is one of many more that could plague the world and now is a time to come up with international modules to stop future viruses.

“We can’t say this was a complete surprise. We just didn’t know when and how severe. This is not the last, we as a global community has to have the global mechanism to stand together to make sure we are better prepared next time.”

Those who have already touched down here in South Africa arrived a few days ago for quarantine purposes and will now be officially welcomed during an online ceremony.

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