The Premier of the Eastern Cape province, Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane used his
opening remarks at the start of the monthly meeting of the Provincial Executive
Council to pay tribute to the health care workers, Police Officers, Traffic, Soldiers
that are in the covid19 battle frontlines for their selfless service.
“We would like to appreciate our frontline health care workers; nurses, porters,
general workers, nursing assistants, security personnel, doctors and everyone
who work in our health facilities for the great job they are doing to help our people
fight covid19. We also thank the Police Officers, Soldiers and the Traffic Officers
for the role they are playing in the implementation of the national lockdown
regulations. We thank them for the job well done thus far,” said Mabuyane.
Opening the virtual meeting of the Executive Council attended by the MECs and
Heads of provincial government departments, Mabuyane said: “We
convey our heartfelt condolences to all families that lost their loved ones because
of this virus. Surely if there was no coronavirus, I don’t think we would have lost
such a number of people. But because there is this virus, we are losing a lot of
people. We understand that this is a very difficult thing to go through. Our people
need to be comforted and it is even difficult to be comforted because some of our
people are on their own.”
Worried about the impact of the chilly winter season in the battle against covid19,
Premier Mabuyane sent condolences to the families of the 70 men and women
from the province who died from covid19 related illnesses.
“We are now getting to a very difficult season of the year; the winter season.
Losing 70 people within a space of two months to this virus is not an easy thing.
One death is one death too many. We need to intensify our collaboration to
prevent further loss of life in our province. We now need to have ventilators in all
hospital rooms where we have isolated people with underlying conditions not only
in the ICU. Increasing ventilators for such patients is going to help us care for
people with underlying conditions and to prevent further loss of life,” he said.
Appealing to the people of the province to work together, Premier Mabuyane said
the Eastern Cape province which has a long way to go in curbing the spread of
coronavirus, needs every single household, family to work together in the war
against this invisible enemy that must be fought street by street, community by
Mabuyane said the 1,491 people who are recovering from the virus out of
the 2864 people infected by the virus shows great strides made by the province’s
healthcare workers in the health sector.
“We are seeing a lot of commitment and dedication out there even though we are
also observing a lot of fear and anxiety. I think our health care workers need a lot
of support and a lot of encouragement to get everyone focused. The more people
are engulfed by fear and anxiety, the more we will commit a lot of mistakes. We
need to get out and get all hands on the deck,” said Mabuyane.
Mabuyane committed the provincial to work with the labour unions to
move with speed in addressing issues raised by the workers in health facilities,
ensure compliance with all the rules and regulations in place.
He said: “It is going to be important that we focus, we have our hands on the
deck, make sure that we move with speed, take decisions that must be taken so
that we don’t delay resolution of any issue. We are not working under a normal
situation. We have got to make necessary interventions at all material times to
get things done.”
Mabuyane said the provincial government will provide psycho-social
support to the people affected and infected by covid19, the front-line staff that
looks after people infected and affected by the virus, critical and essential
workers of government as they return to work.
“It is important that we always appreciate and give credit where it is due. The
progress we are seeing is not out of miracles; it is out of hard work and people
going an extra effort to ensure that government performs better on this issue. We
are putting up a lot of fight. It is not easy. We are still going to see more difficult
times to come. So, we have to do better on small things we can do to avoid
calamity around this issue,” said Mabuyane.
He said as the province gets ready for alert level three from the first of June
2020, with the easing of economic activities, co-existing with the virus itself;
adapting to this situation calls for the huge mobilization of the people of the
province to understand the behaviour of this virus, cooperate with the government in
ensuring that that the national lockdown regulations are adhered to and