Southern Africa: SADC Suspends Events

(file photo).
10 March 2020

SADC has, with immediate effect, suspended planned public events in the bloc as part of efforts to minimise risks from the coronavirus (Covid-19).

Sadc meetings will now go virtual, with video conferencing or teleconferencing.

As of yesterday, South Africa had confirmed seven cases of the virus, although the rest of Sadc has yet to record cases.

President Mnangagwa, who is the Chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security last week banned civil servants from international travel.

In a statement, the Sadc secretariat member Ms Mapolao Mokoena said owing to the virus, the Secretariat had put on hold scheduled events until further notice.

"Considering the recent developments regarding the coronavirus outbreak, a number of countries and institutions have taken responsible precautionary measures to prevent the risk of exposure to contracting and spreading of the deadly virus," she said.

"In this phase of preparedness and uncertain moment, the SADC Secretariat regrets to inform you that all planned SADC events around this period have been put to hold until further notice, when the situation has normalised and this global pandemic has been contained."

Ms Mokoena said for the meantime all meetings will be held through video and teleconferences and will shift to virtual meetings at an advised date.

"We recognise that the timing of this prudent decision may pose an inconvenience on you, however, it is made out of profound concern for the health and well-being of the SADC citizens," she said.

"In balance of SADC's critical work and health concern for everyone, we are expecting video conference or teleconference to shift to virtual meeting, when we can and will advise you in due course."

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