Health Department on high alert after WHO declares monkeypox a global emergency

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Department of Health in South Africa says it remains on high alert following the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that the ongoing monkeypox outbreak has been declared a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern’.

This is the highest alarm WHO can sound.

So far this year, there have been more than 16 000 cases of monkeypox in more than 75 countries, and five deaths in Africa. Only 3 cases have been reported in South Africa.

Chief Director for Primary Healthcare at the National Health Department, Ramphelane Morewane says the country is ready to mobilise COVID-19 resources if an outbreak is declared in the country.

“We are concerned because we are part of the global village. Even though the cases are more concentrated in Europe and the America’s, we are worried because of travel connections through countries. We are not immune,” says Morewane.

“The declaration of the public health emergency of international concern means an increased attention is required because of the speed that the virus is spreading. It allows us to tap into our resources and luckily we have been doing this during COVID-19. We are on alert, we are not dropping our guards, we are on alert,” Morewane says.

WHO declares Monkeypox a global health emergency: