Coronavirus 'not just a European problem' - Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

2020-03-15 13:36

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has expressed concern that Covid-19 could have a severe impact on South Africa, saying it is not just European problem.

In a statement on Sunday, Makgoba urged people to take the virus seriously. 

"I am desperately worried that the coronavirus is described as a European problem by some of the media.

"As we know, viruses do not have passports, they don't know borders, they don't respect race or colour."

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Makgoba said South Africa had a high number of HIV/Aids and TB infected people, who could be more susceptible to contracting the coronavirus.

"The coronavirus will affect us in Africa, will affect us in South Africa, because there is also the notion that if there is a pre-existing condition the coronavirus is much more severe.

"You can imagine in… South Africa in particular, where the scourge or the incidence of TB and HIV and Aids is high, so when corona[virus] strikes, a lot of people will be affected," Makgoba said.

He added that Covid-19 needed to be taken seriously and given the "urgency it deserves... and not just bask in the fact that it is a European problem".

Makgoba urged people to take preventive measures against the virus.

"Please help to reduce it by constantly washing your hands, sanitising and avoiding as much as possible public events where the virus may be spread.

"And I know it seems also funny when we ask people in the Church not to give the usual peace or an embrace, but please, just wave at each other during this uncertain time as an expression of the peace. Please just share communion in one kind [rather] than using wafers and wine.

"Repeat: sanitise your hands, be responsible, ensure that you care for one another, and spread the word that corona is not only a European issue, but it also affects us in Africa," Makgoba said. 

For more on the coronavirus and the experiences of South Africans living in Italy under quarantine, listen to our podcast on SoundCloud.

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Read more on:    thabo makgoba  |  cape town  |  coronavirus  |  healthcare

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