Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize has clarified that the MAC on COVID-19 is not disbanded- but has merely been strengthened in line with developments of the pandemic.
In a statement released on Monday, Mkhize said that based on the conduct of the South African pandemic, they have re-evaluated our national response and identified new challenges that require new approaches.
Recognizing that the composition of the current MAC was focused on a biomedical approach, The Minister has taken a decision to augment the existing committee with various other experts from different sectors.
In that regard, the reinforced MAC on COVID-19 consists of bio-medical practitioners; clinical experts; specialists in ethics; the nursing profession; social scientists; re-searchers; and community leaders to advise on interventions that should be considered in responding to the epidemic and to influence the behavioural change that is required to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19.
The strengthened MAC will still maintain a degree of continuity, retaining many of the experts from the original clinical-biomedical MAC, including the incumbent chair Prof Abdool-Karim, Prof Marc Mendelson, Prof Sthembiso Mkhize, Prof Rudo Mathivha and Prof Nombulelo Magula, amongst others.
During the course of the pandemic, three distinct Ministerial Advisory Committees (MACs) have been established to guide government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic : The MAC on COVID-19, the MAC for Coronavirus Vaccine and the Multi-sectoral MAC for Social Behavioral Change, co-chaired by the Minister of Health and the Minister of Social Development.