South Africa sets aside funds for coronavirus drugs

The Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation says R12 million has been made available and a further R30 million will be redirected towards Covid-19 interventions.

This includes re-purposing and testing a number of existing drugs for efficacy of the potential treatment for Covid-19.

“The Department of Science and Innovation task team is engaging with the Department of Health, the Medical Research Council, and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority to mobilise funding, reprioritising research strategies and creating an enabling ethical and regulatory framework to facilitate research on the Covid-19 virus,” said the department in a statement.

This as the country will this evening enter a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.

Covid-19 teams

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Blade Nzimande, has established specific Covid-19 teams for the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Higher Education and Training respectively.

These distinct teams are comprised of stakeholders in the two sectors who are critical to the advancement of the sectors’ roles.

The teams will assist the Minister for effective participation in the work of the President led National Command Council, as well the sectors contribution in fighting Covid-19.

The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) team is led by the Deputy Minister Bhuti Manamela and is comprised of Universities South Africa (USAF), South African College Principals Organisation (SACPO), the South African Union of Students (SAUS), Labour Unions, Higher Health and the Department of Health to coordinate the PSET sector response to the virus.

The Post-School Education and Training (PSET) Task Team will also make appropriate information available to the institutions in the sector including developing protocol guidelines for institutions.

Read: Emergency numbers and contacts you should know during the lockdown

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South Africa sets aside funds for coronavirus drugs