South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has disbanded the government’s scientific advisory committee on the coronavirus.
Some members of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19 were advised by letter this week that the group is being reconfigured, Francois Venter of the University of the Witwatersrand said by text message on Saturday.
The disbanding follows Mkhize’s announcement on Sept. 14 that he would reconstitute the committee, News24 reported, citing the letter. Others who’ve been informed of the change include Angelique Coetzee, the chairwoman of the South African Medical Association, it said.
The committee, headed by Salim Abdool Karim, was created earlier this year to advise Mkhize on how to handle the pandemic.
South Africa recorded 668,529 cases and 16,312 deaths as of Friday, giving it the largest number of infections in Africa. More than 4.1 million people have been tested, out of a population of 59 million. The rate of coronavirus infections has slowed markedly over the past month.
The Health Ministry didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.