Coronavirus: Gauteng ANC suspends political calendar 'for the benefit of everyone's health'

2020-03-19 08:05

The ANC in Gauteng has resolved to suspend its political calendar in support of measures the government announced to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

According to its secretary Jacob Khawe, this decision was taken during a special ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) meeting after the latest detailed briefing from the provincial government steering committee, led by Dr Bandile Masuku, on the state of the province's readiness to deal with the outbreak.

"The special PEC meeting agreed that all mass-based political programmes or activities, like BBGMs (Biannual Branch General Meetings) or conferences, are all suspended with immediate effect until further notice."

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.

In South Africa, 116 people were infected by Wednesday, the Health Ministry announced.

Khawe said the ANC in Gauteng supported the provincial government's decision to close all public facilities, such as community halls, libraries and arts centres, as well as its move to establish a war room to pay attention to the pandemic.

Basic protective measures

"The special PEC meeting also calls on communities to set up community-based action groups to focus on reducing the spread of [the] coronavirus/Covid-19 and urge everyone to follow these basic protective measures against the coronavirus/Covid-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitisers;
  • Maintain a distance of at least one metre (three feet) between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose the used tissue immediately;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms;
  • If you have a fever, a cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early.

"We apologise to members of the organisation for the inconvenience caused by the suspension of the political calendar and its activities, but it is unavoidable and the suspension is for the benefit of everyone's health," Khawe said. 

Read more: Coronavirus: 5 key regulations governing the national state of disaster

The ANC in Gauteng urged people to refrain from circulating fake and wrong information about the coronavirus because it "causes unnecessary panic amongst the people".

"Furthermore, the ANC in Gauteng urges government and non-profit organisations to intensify educational programmes on the coronavirus/Covid-19."

Read more on:    anc  |  politics  |  health  |  coronavirus
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