WATCH | Max Hurrell feasts on Fikile Mbalula's 'eat the virus' airline speech

02 July 2020 - 13:10
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Fikile Mbalula is the latest to have a speech remixed by 'Zol' producer Max Hurrell.
Image: Sunday Times Fikile Mbalula is the latest to have a speech remixed by 'Zol' producer Max Hurrell.

Zol hitmaker Max Hurrell is back with a new meme song starring transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

This week, Mbalula revealed that the aviation sector would operate at 100% capacity despite the coronavirus pandemic. In his address, he said the reason to allow planes to operate at full capacity was that the virus could not survive in an aeroplane, thanks to the use of high-efficiency air filters (Hepa). 

Mbalula said, planes “eat the virus”, something which taxis, unfortunately, can't do.

“People ask why we are operating at 100% capacity on flights. It’s because planes can absorb disease. Planes are fitted with high-efficiency particulate air filters. The filter can eat any form of virus, including Covid-19,” said Mbalula.

“The same does not happen in a car or a taxi. You can have the windows down, and multiple stops. These are very technical issues and since we reopened, there’s been no coronavirus cases linked to flying. You are better protected on a plane than you are anywhere else.”

Any truth to Mbalula's statement? 

Though the statement raised some eyebrows online, the filters indeed can kill off 99.99% of all airborne germs and the risk of contracting Covid-19 via the air on planes is low if filters are well-maintained.

According to the International Air Transport Association (Iata), Hepa filters are effective at removing even the most difficult particles between 0.1 to 0.3 microns in size.

The filter, however, doesn’t remove the disease from inside a person. Someone who is Covid-19 positive can still spread the disease when they get on or off the plane.

Watch the video below

More videos coming

Mbalula is not the first politician to have his speech turned into a song and will not be the last.

Speaking to TimesLIVE in May, Hurrell said more meme hit songs featuring politicians and their speeches were coming.

“I am 100% going to do more. I'm going to work on some remixes, some music. I want to be meticulous and careful with my next move. I don't want to release something that is sub-par just for the sake of getting views. I want to keep building my brand and my story.”