The first team of experts from the World Health Organisation, who will assist South Africa in its fight against Coronavirus, is set to arrive in the country today.
A total of 43 senior experts from across the globe, including renowned specialists Dr David Heymann (a seasoned infectious disease epidemiologist and public health expert) and Dr Mike Ryan, are among the team that will assist the country to refine its efforts against the pandemic.
“Dr Mike Ryan will lead the team from Geneva and will… provide us with constant advice while analysing our strategies, including the decisions we have taken as the Department of Health in our COVID-19 response,” said Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize.
The Minister made the announcement during a virtual briefing on Wednesday where he provided an update on government’s efforts to fight Coronavirus.
The arrival of the team of experts comes as South Africa ranks in the top five globally in terms of the number of infections.
Making the announcement, Mkhize thanked WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, for his continuous support and counsel.
“We see this as a great opportunity not only to improve our health strategies during this pandemic, but also to accelerate our path towards health care reform,” said the Minister.
The first 17 experts will touch down on South African soil today and will complete a period of quarantine and initiation before being deployed within the department and across various provinces.
The minister further raised his concern over reports of healthcare workers losing their lives due to lack of personal protective equipment (PPEs) or failure to meet health protocols.
There were also allegations that this was due to lack of sufficient supply of PPE and doctors being made to work in unsafe environments at the facility.#HealthUpdate— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) August 5, 2020
He said that the infections of doctors as a result of Covid-19 make up 5% of the total infections in the country with 24,104 cases of these recorded as of 2 August.
“I have appointed a team to conduct an urgent investigation into a death of a doctor that died at the George Mukhari hospital in Ga-Rankuwa, Pretoria as a result of Covid-19,” he said.
Sources: thecitizen, sanews