Chairperson, the ANC welcomes the decisive measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday, 15 March 2020, declaring a national disaster to enable South Africa to take the necessary measures to fight this pandemic.
Having an informed understanding of the virus is of utmost importance, so as to avoid falling victim to fake news. South Africans have a responsibility of ensuring information that is [not] verified by credible sources is not spread.
We commend the work done by the national Department of Health. They have a very active social media presence to keep the nation abreast on all the latest developments pertaining to this virus. There is a WhatsApp number for all news and answering of questions related to the
Coronavirus. That number is 060 012 3456.
As the ANC, we wish to commend all community health workers, nurses and doctors who are working tirelessly to ensure that the health and safety of the nation is upheld. Your selfless contribution does not go unnoticed.
We call on all institutions and all sectors, both public and private, to adhere to the restrictions on public gatherings. In this regard, what is required of us all is to implement social distance as best as we can while still adhering to good hygiene practices. It is through our collective efforts that we will be able to fight this outbreak. We need not panic and be engulfed by fear and respond accordingly by [not] panic-buying and taking other drastic measures.
We need to heed the calls made by the President and his Cabinet and trust that the government has the capacity to conquer this outbreak. South Africa possesses the necessary knowledge and means to fight this disease, if we act
swiftly and collectively to minimise its impact. I also believe, and as the ANC, we believe that together we too shall overcome this. I thank you. [Applause.]