Citizen Reporter
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2 minute read
20 Mar 2020
12:22 pm

Stats SA suspends fieldwork activities amid coronavirus fears

Citizen Reporter

Statistician general Risenga Maluleke said the suspension was in concern with the safety of its staffs and respondents.

Information collected by fieldworkers would be used to make key public health decisions and policies, the organisation said.

Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) statistician general Risenga Maluleke announced the suspension of all fieldwork activities with immediate effect until 31 March amid coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

Maluleke said the disease was spreading rapidly as the number of cases in the country increases.

“Covid-19 has hit our shores, and the disease is spreading rapidly.

“Government has already declared the virus a national disaster, and has put a number of measures in place to try to slow the transmission of the disease,” he said.

Maluleke said the suspension was in concern with the safety of its staffs and respondents.

“Stats SA’s primary concern is the safety of its staff and respondents. In line with the recommendations from the Steering Committee set up to deal with issues concerning Covid-19 in Stats SA, the statistician-general has suspended all fieldwork activities with immediate effect until 31 March 2020,” he said.

He said the committee would continue to look at the prevailing environment to inform its decisions.

Maluleke thanked Stats SA’s field staff who went out on a daily basis under “very challenging circumstances”.

He also thanked the organisation’s respondents for continuing to supply Stats SA with their information, which was “the lifeblood of this organisation”, to provide statistics for South Africa to make informed decisions.

“These are extraordinary times that we are living in, and they demand extraordinary responses. Let this be the year of unity and nation-building. Together, we can beat this virus,” he concluded.

New coronavirus (Covid-19) cases

Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize announced on Friday morning in Bloemfontein that the number of Covid-19 cases in SA had gone up to 202.

The Free State now had seven cases and only three provinces are yet to report infections.

The minister added that although the government was calling for people to pray, prayer alone would not be enough to combat the spread of the virus, and people should avoid getting together to pray, but rather do so in their own homes or controlled spaces.

READ NEXT: Most of the Covid-19 patients are recovering well, says Mkhize.

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