Fighting Covid-19, Sadc holds first video meeting

Fighting Covid-19, Sadc holds first video meeting

Harare (New Ziana) – Following its recent ban of all regional face to face meetings due to the Covid-19 threat, Southern African Development Community (SADC) officials held a first video conference meeting on Monday and Tuesday, the bloc said.

SADC temporarily suspended regional face to face meetings last week after South Africa announced a first case of Covid-19 in the sub-region.

Other countries in the region, namely Tanzania, Namibia and the Democratic Republic of Congo have also since recorded cases.

SADC said a standing committee of senior officials of the bloc were meeting via video conferencing in keeping with one recommendations on tackling the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The World Health Organisation has prescribed avoiding large public gatherings as one way of avoiding the spread of COVID-19 which has infected over 150 000 people and killed over 6 000 people globally.

“The Standing Committee of Senior Officials from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Member States are meeting via video conference from 16 – 17 March 2020, ahead of the SADC Council of Ministers video conference meeting to be held on 18th March 2020,” SADC said in a statement.

Opening the meeting, chairperson of the Sadc standing committee of senior officials, who is also the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, of Tanzania, Wilbert Ibuge commended Sadc member states for heeding the call to avoid large gatherings.

“Ibuge also commended the SADC Secretariat under the leadership of Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the SADC Executive Secretary, for the cooperation and facilitating the video conference meeting, following the recommendations of the SADC Ministers of Health meeting as one of the measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus.”

During the meeting, Ibuge urged Sadc member states to take necessary measures to protect each other and to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Covid-19, which first broke out in China’s Wuhan province, has wrecked unprecedented havoc across the globe, knocking down stock markets, travel and food industries and disrupting school and sporting calendars worldwide.
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