“There is no use fighting over who caused it or where it came from,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said after meetings with African Union (AU) and G-20 member states on Thursday.
In an impromptu media briefing, Ramaphosa said it was no use pointing fingers over who caused the pandemic, adding the world was in a war situation.
“When you are in a war, it does not pay any benefit to start fighting among yourselves and shooting your own soldiers. We have got to unite to confront this enemy.”
He said the government wanted to share research information with the rest of the world, adding this view was being articulated and there was no dissent even from countries which had placed blame on each other for spreading the virus.
Ramaphosa said he was confident, that from a G-20 point of view, the world was facing a common enemy.
He added he had articulated Africa’s position that it needed stimulus support from developed countries – a move supported by France, Germany, Canada and Russia.
Ramaphosa also mentioned G-20 members have pledged their commitment to aiding developing countries with debt relief from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by halting interest payments.
His day did not end there as he had to have meetings with the AU Bureau heads of state.
“We had a wonderful session which I convened to enable the continent to have a clear position on dealing with Covid-19. We found that the number that are affected on the continent rising every day. Their numbers have not reached the level of which South Africa is in.”
Ramaphosa said the heads of state had received a report from the continental disease centre (CDC) on the spread of the virus.
They had agreed to approach the coronavirus in unity with a co-ordinated approach, sharing information and heightening communication, he added.
The African leaders will also set up regional task forces.
“We also agreed that we needed to call on the world, particularly the more developed economies, to come to our assistance from an economic point of view so that they can provide stimulus.
“This will allow us to have the resources to support our economies. It will also allow for manufactured goods that we need from various countries, such as medical supplies, to be imported to Africa.”
The AU will also raise funds though its Africa Coronavirus Fund to assist the CDC and countries with greater need. The fund has already raised $17 million.
Ramaphosa said also had meetings with G-20 member states which pledged their commitment to aid developing countries with debt relief from the IMF by halting interest payments.
“It was a wonderful meeting, and I think the decisions that were taken will in due course be undertaken.”