In December 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City in China. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) was confirmed as the causative agent of what we know now as Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The virus has since spread across countries, including South Africa.
As of 16 March, the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) confirmed 62 cases in the country, and the government has announced several measures for tackling the Covid-19 pandemic.
The labour sector is concerned about the impact of coronavirus. Consequently, NEDLAC partners met and committed to work together to respond to the situation.
Speaking on SABC News today, labour minister Thulas Nxesi offered some clarity on the approach for dealing with the labour sector in the context of Covid-19. Nxesi said National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) partners are committed to helping save lives and the economy, through investing in the health and safety of all workers. The partners agreed to co-operate in six key areas relating to public health response; containment of the coronavirus; security of health suppliers; security for medical equipment; effective workplace measures; and supporting workers and companies that are negatively impacted by the virus.
WATCH: Labour minister discusses the challenges for labour in the wake of Covid-19
LISTEN: Labour department releases guidelines on workplace preparedness for COVID-19
Meanwhile, WHO released guidelines to help businesses prepare workplaces for Covid-19 outbreak. The measures include ensuring cleanliness and hygiene, and installation of hand sanitizers and wash soap stations.
To know more about COVID-19, visit:
- The National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD)
- SA Coronavirus website
- John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre
- @DrZweliMkhize (Twitter handle of South Africa’s health minister)
- The Conversation – COVID-9 analyses by academics
- Lexis Nexis – Free Resource Centre on your rights in the time of COVID-19
- National Institute for Communicable Disease hotline – 0800 029 999 | Official Whatsapp platform for information and advice – send “hi” to 060 012 3456
- World Health Organisation updates via WhatsApp – Get the link here