Covid report provides insight into pandemic, says Gungubele

Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, said that although the government has launched interventions to mitigate the effects of the covid pandemic, many lessons can be learned and gaps filled to improve state disaster management capabilities.

Gungubele was speaking at the launch of the South Africa Covid Country Report, which records the measures and interventions adopted by the country to combat Covid and its negative socio-economic impacts.

“It is important that we learn from our collective experiences to improve things in the future. It is by learning that we can sharpen our focus on improving the state’s ability to deal with epidemics and other forms of disaster,” he said.

The first edition of the report refers to the period when SA experienced the first and second waves of Covid infections. A second edition will detail an extended period after these two waves and some of the results of government interventions.

Gungubele said the report’s value was “derived from the research process”, which gave the government simultaneous analysis of the Covid situation and enabled the state to respond more effectively.

“As the research and analysis progressed, various actors improved their understanding of the pandemic and similarly lessons were learned – feeding into relevant decision-making processes and helping to improve response measures” , did he declare.

Gungubele said some of the report’s recommendations have already been implemented, including those relating to welfare, vaccinations, government regulations and the economy.

“There are many lessons on what worked well and what didn’t and specific recommendations on what to do. Significant steps taken to date include the announcement of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan… which signaled a shift in government focus towards stabilization and recovery,” Gungubele said.

“The extension of the welfare program has been through the Distress Welfare Grant until 2023.”

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He reflected on the impact the Covid outbreak had on South Africans at the start of the pandemic – calling it a “health crisis”, which had major social and economic implications.

“The complex nature of the pandemic necessitated a multi-sectoral and multi-pronged approach and as a result South Africa’s response was comprehensive and visibly led by the President and Minister of Health. [The] the overall response has focused on saving lives and saving livelihoods. »

He said the government had taken steps to ensure that the most vulnerable in society received some form of protection from the effects of the pandemic.