South Africa needs to adopt new culture to fight COVID-19: Mkhize

South Africa needs to adopt new culture to fight COVID-19: Mkhize

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says behavioural changes for life with COVID-19 need to be reinforced over and over again. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize - AFP

On Tuesday, Mkhize launched a ministerial advisory committee to focus on social behavioural change. 

The team is made up of leaders from faith-based groups, civil society and labour unions. 

He says as we reopen the economy, we'll have to adjust to living with something that feels unnatural. 

"The numbers are going up, unfortunately, in our situation. The amount of economic and social distress means that we will have to ensure that we co-exist with this viral infection. 

"There's no way of closing down everything and then wait until we have completely defeated the virus. We have to defeat the virus while we are trying to rebuild our lives and our economy. Therefore our focus on building lives and livelihood," says Mkhize.

READ: Plans to increase staff in healthcare sector

Mkhize says South Africa needs to get used to a new culture.

"This is the culture that we need to build, and that culture can only be done if we have got partners on the ground. We are going to be emphasising the need for them. 

"We hope that we'll be able to create this partnership at a ward level and at a district level so that everyone out there knows. Only one message that our president has given us, and that is to hold each other's hands in order to defeat this virus," he says. 

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