The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) release a statement on Monday condemning the government for a delayed response “to what was an inevitable health crisis” following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to Covid-19 outbreak on Sunday.
“The EFF has noted the statement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the coronavirus outbreak as a national disaster.
“From the outset, the EFF has condemned the slow response from the state to what was an inevitable health crisis,” the party said in the statement.
The EFF highlighted the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the country, saying the government was struggling to deal with the matter.
“It is extremely ironic that a government has an unsubstantiated hostile posture towards fellows Africans for crime, and is struggling to take decisive measures to ensure we are safe from this virus.
“Although the president has declared a national disaster, exposure to the virus within the county has gained expression.
“The reactive nature of our government will see our people vulnerable to harm and ill health, with no contingency plan to address emerging coronavirus incidents.”
The party welcomed the suspension of social gatherings of over 100 people, however, they questioned the implementation of the plan.
EFF further questioned how the higher education sector was going to address the crisis.
“We have not heard a coherent plan as to how public healthcare facilities will engage those who come forth with symptoms and whether health professionals have been briefed on how to engage with the multitudes of people within higher education.”
The party said the government was unable to issue effective travel bans due to its lack of independence.
“It is because we are unable as a country to produce our own cars, washing rags, houses and clothes that we cannot institute bans on nations plagued by the coronavirus.”
The party said they were concerned with the “minimal role that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) seemed to be afforded”.
“It is the NICD which must guide our efforts as a nation and ensure that we are sensitive towards infected people.”
The EFF called for precise travel bans against affected nations regardless of their investments in the county and also called for health interventions that prioritised the poor.
The party further called for the government to make resources available to experts to conduct research that would help combat the spread of the virus and urged South Africans to remain calm and maintain patience.