The African Union Bureau of Heads of States and Governments has again called for the immediate lifting of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe and Sudan to assist them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The bureau held a teleconference led by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as AU Chairperson.

Africa currently has nearly 8 000 COVID-19 cases.

South Africa has the highest with more than 1 500 confirmed infections.

The Bureau is also appealing for international cooperation and support in the fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus on the continent. The Heads of States and Governments noted with satisfaction the sum of $12.5 million pledged by AU member states towards combating the pandemic.

Need for medical supplies

There’s a growing urgency in the need for medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for healthcare work across affected African countries.

The Bureau has agreed to establish continental ministerial coordination committees on Health, Finance, and Transport in order to support the comprehensive continental strategy.

SA lockdown

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa is currently meeting with the National Command Council to assess the progress and challenges on the implementation of the national lockdown.   

Deputy President David Mabuza, ministers, premiers and South African Local Government Association (Salga) representatives are part of the virtual meeting.  

National and provincial responses as well as a strategy towards economic recovery after the lockdown are some of the other issues under discussion.

“The real purpose of our meeting is to have a discussion, an update as well as some proposals on the situation that confronts our country and our nation. We have been meeting as the command council on the coronavirus and we know that at provincial council you have set up your own command councils and minister Dlamini-Zuma, the DP and myself felt that there was a need as a number of you did to have this type of meeting,” Ramaphosa said on Twitter. 

In the video below, President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the nation: 

For more information on the coronavirus, call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999. You can also add the official government COVID-19 support service on WhatsApp on 0600 123 456.

Remember to maintain a social distance of at least one metre between yourself and people around you. #ChooseLife!