Pan-African Parliament (PAP), the legislative organ of the African Union (AU), headquartered in Midrand, South Africa, has said that the sittings of its Permanent Committees billed for February 27 to March 7, 2020, would not be affected by the latest epidemic known as coronavirus.
Stating that the committee sittings would hold as scheduled despite the fear sparked by the coronavirus outbreak globally, PAP noted: “The Government of South Africa has assured the nation of its solid response against the virus. Screening of travelers, especially those arriving from destinations in Asia, has been intensified at all South African ports of entry following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in China.”
The Bureau of the African parliamentary body said arrangements would be made to complement the measures put in place by the South African National Department of Health to ensure any potential threat was dealt with in good time.
PAP’s Vice President Fortune Charumbira and Vice President Bouras Djamel were said to have taken time to address the issue among others with the Secretariat Staff during their rotation week in Midrand.
The President of PAP, Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang was quoted as saying: “We can assure our Members of Parliament that the Secretariat will do all in its power to ensure that the Sitting of the Permanent Committees holds successfully amid this global health scare. We, however, encourage Honorable Parliamentarians to ensure that they carry all their health certificates and that they are up to date with all the vaccinations they ought to have taken.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a coronavirus is a family of viruses that “include the common cold, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).” The WHO declared the outbreak a global public health emergency.
China’s National Health Commission reportedly disclosed on Monday that there are now 17,205 confirmed cases in mainland China, 15 in Hong Kong, 8 in Macao and 10 in Taiwan. About 150 cases have been confirmed in 23 other countries outside China in the Asia-Pacific region, North America, Europe, and the Middle East.
So far, in Africa, there are no verified cases of infection of the fast-spreading new mysterious coronavirus, which emerged in the Chinese City of Wuhan towards the end of December 2019.