The Eastern Cape political leadership is setting an example by having themselves tested for the COVID-19 virus. The tests were done in Port Elizabeth in anticipation of the visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday.
The move is also a bid to break the stigma around the COVID-19 virus.
Premier Oscar Mabuyane was the first to sit down for the test in the mobile testing unit.
A swab from his throat was taken by a nurse, and in seconds it was over and done.
Mabuyane encourages others to do the same.
“This is part of our ongoing work of reaching out to our people on the massive screening and massive testing, but also doing it to protect ourselves. So, we have got to do this, but also to show the public that this is not a death sentence. If you were found positive you still have a chance to recover from this. Yes, of course, there’s no vaccine for it but you can still be assisted. So, for me it’s a question of the leadership to the front so that it is important for people to take this seriously.”
Premier Mabuyane making remarks after testing for #covid19 today in PE. The Premier, MECs senior government officials tested for #covid19 as part of the province's efforts to ramp up screening and testing to contain the spread of #covid19 #ecfightingcovid19 pic.twitter.com/NElmmefAPr
— Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane (@OscarMabuyane) May 13, 2020
Members of the executive council, heads of department and support staff followed the premier’s example.
The MEC for Health in the province, Sindiswa Gomba, says she supports the testing.
“As leaders, we are in the frontline in fighting this virus and by testing we are showing people that we are serious about getting people tested, because the more tests we do the better it is going to be for us to control the spread of this virus.”
The testing of the provincial leadership is done as part of efforts to contain and manage the spread of the coronavirus in the province.
The Eastern Cape has the third highest numbers, recording more than 1 500 positive cases and 24 deaths.
The Nelson Mandela Metro is the epicentre in the province with almost 700 positive cases.
Below are the latest COVID-19 stats in South Africa: