Members of the WHO team in North West, Dr Virginia Gitau and Dr Rajash Narwal.

The North West Department of Health on Monday welcomed a World Health Organisation (WHO) surge team to the province to reinforce COVID-19 response.

WHO has deployed a team of 43 experts from around the world to help the government curb the virus in South Africa, and three experts will be stationed in the North West Province.

The experts are Dr Charles Korir, Dr Virginia Gitau and Dr Rajash Narwal.

Health MEC Madoda Sambatha welcomed the COVID-19 reinforcement. “The Province needs all the expertise to help arrest the spread of the coronavirus. The surge team will work together with the COVID-19 Provincial Nerve Centre and district nerve centres. We appreciate the support from WHO and the National Department of Health. Working together we will beat the coronavirus,” he said.

Sambatha said with South Africa now among the top five of the world’s most affected countries, it is critical to strengthen its COVID-19 response.

“For this reason, WHO is ramping up support to complement national and provincial efforts to scale-up the response. Our collective efforts are necessary to identify cases, isolate and provide care, follow up contacts and fully implement physical distancing and other key public health measures. In this way, we will minimise the spread and impact of COVID19,” said Dr Owen Kaluwa, WHO Representative for South Africa.

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