DA calls for consistent updates of Covid-19 cases and updates – Siviwe Gwarube

MP wants a specific time to be set aside for daily updates

DA calls for consistent updates of Covid-19 cases and updates

17 March 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) urgently calls on Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize for consistent and regular reporting on new cases of Covid-19.

The DA recommends to the Department of Health and the National Institute of Communicable Disease (NICD) that a specific time be set aside for daily and consistent updates on cases and any other Covid-19-related feedback.

A particular time of the day can be identified and reporting should be done specifically around that time.

Consistent feedback to the public from the Department cultivates a culture of trust and credibility.

International best practice has demonstrated how consistent and accurate feedback to the public quells panic and fake news. When a lacuna is created in this regard then panic sets in.

The DoH has been providing regular and daily updates, however, as the cases increase across the country, there is a need for structured daily communication. This strategy could be used in conjunction with the WhatsApp platform, DoH and NICD website. Regular, daily and comprehensive updates across the board is an effective way to on-board all South Africans as partners in the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus.

The DA remains committed to supporting the South African government in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. We are also resolute in ensuring that we all work together to protect our citizens during this time. That is why we will continue to send our recommendations to the Minister of Health and his department.

Issued by Siviwe Gwarube, DA Shadow Minister of Health, 17 March 2020