His excellency, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his His Grace, Bishop Dr Engenas Lekganyane on Sunday warmly greeted each other with an elbow bump as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO)) to show South Africans how to avoid the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
In 2006, due to fears of an avian flu pandemic, the WHO proposed using the elbow bump to keeping other people’s imaginary diseases at arm’s length.
Ramaphosa has been seen as a principal advocate for using the elbow bump, noting that it can also help constrain the spread of COVID-19, wreaking havoc on the entire world, by modelling social behaviour that limits physical contact
Showing up at St Engenas Zion Christian Church in Moria, Limpopo, President Ramaphosa kept his social distance, warmly greeted Dr Lekganyane–both bumping each other’s elbows.
The President was accompanied by Limpopo Premier Chubu Stanley Mathabatha, Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Home Affairs Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and Small Business Development Minister, Khumbudzo Ntshaveni.
The meeting with Dr Lekganyane marks the continuing cooperation between government and religious groups to champion social justice and movements to influence South African’s fighting the spread of the Coronavirus and adhere to the national disaster management regulations.
On March 15, 2020, President Ramaphosa declared South Africa a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The President held consultative meetings with leaders of political parties in Parliament, interfaith, traditional leaders, various industries and business delegations to merge a national effort to fight against the virus.