R40m worth of test kits and hospital equipment on its way to South Africa

30 March 2020 - 08:32 By Iavan Pijoos
The German ambassador to SA, Martin Schäfer, said the decision to send essential equipment to South Africa was taken two weeks ago after meeting with South African partners.
The German ambassador to SA, Martin Schäfer, said the decision to send essential equipment to South Africa was taken two weeks ago after meeting with South African partners.
Image: Supplied

The German government will send test kits and other hospital equipment worth R40-million to South Africa to help fight Covid-19 in the country, its ambassador said on Monday morning.

“I can assure you my government will be willing and able to help countries like South Africa to get out of this out of this terrible spread of the coronavirus,” Martin Schäfer said during an interview with Stephen Grootes on SAfm Sunrise.

The German ambassador to South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini said the decision was taken two weeks ago after meeting with South African partners.

As of March 26, the lives of many South Africans will be fundamentally changed. This is after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide lockdown. This step - which the president said was drastic but necessary - will see millions of South Africans restricted to their homes and many services being unavailable.Here's all you need to know about who is exempt from the lockdown and which businesses will stay open.

In a video on his Twitter page he said the funds would be handled by Germany’s state-owned development bank, KFW, and the department of health.

“The coronavirus affects us all. We are trying to be of assistance. We are in this together.”

On Sunday evening, the department of health announced that the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country had climbed to 1,280.

A 74-year-old man from Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal has been confirmed as the second person to die from Covid-19 in SA.

Last Thursday, a group of German tourists were apprehended while on their way to be tested for Covid-19 in Johannesburg.

They were mostly elderly people, some more than 70 years old.

Schäfer said the tourists had arrived in SA on March 6. They have been mostly in the Cape area.

He said on Monday morning those who had tested positive for Covid-19 would have to stay in the country for treatment here.

As South Africa goes into a 21-day lockdown over the Covid-19 outbreak, many are concerned for dependants and society's most vulnerable. Social grant recipients can still collect their money and buy food, while shelters are being identified for the homeless. Here's all you need to know about how the lockdown will impact dependants & society's vulnerable.


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