The SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) board has reportedly apologised for comments made by its president, Professor Glenda Gray, regarding the government’s apparent handling of its advice relating to the lockdown.
News24 say they have seen a letter signed by SAMRC chairperson Professor Johnny Mahlangu, which apologises to the ministry of health and the Ministerial Advisory Committee.
The letter states that the board will also bar Gray and her staff from speaking to the media until the matter of her public comments is resolved.
In the letter addressed to acting director-general of the health department, Dr Anban Pillay, the board said it was proud of “how the government has based its response on the available scientific data”.
“Consequently, the board distances itself from any negative comments made by Professor Gray associated with how the SA government has managed Covid-19 which have appeared in the media,” the letter reads.
Health minister, Zweli Mkhize, on Wednesday last week responded strongly to Gray’s public stance, saying her criticism of the lockdown regulations “undermines the joint work” the state is taking to fight Covid-19.
Gray previously called South Africa’s phased exit from the lockdown nonsensical and unscientific and said it should be eradicated completely.
Gray has since clarified that she did not criticise the lockdown or the extension of the lockdown, but emphasised that her critical comments related to some of the regulations.
Her views received widespread support from many in the medical community.
In March, she was appointed a member of the MAC, where she was the chairperson of the research subcommittee.
She is also the chief executive officer of the SAMRC and an expert in infectious diseases, HIV and has training in paediatrics.