Coronavirus: Renowned SA HIV scientist Gita Ramjee passes away

Coronavirus: Renowned SA HIV scientist Gita Ramjee passes away

- South Africans are mourning an immense loss to the scientific community on Wednesday morning

- Professor Gita Ramjee has passed away after contracting the coronavirus

- An internationally renowned woman, she worked tirelessly to prevent HIV infections

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South Africa has lost the life of an influential, decorated and celebrated scientist, Professor Gita Ramjee.

President and CEO of the SA Medical Research Council, Professor Glenda Gray, confirmed that Ramjee had passed away after contracting the coronavirus.

Ramjee was world-renowned and worked relentlessly to find ways of preventing the spread of HIV, especially in women.

News24 spoke to Aurum Institute Professor Gavin Churchyard, who commented on the loss:

"The world has lost a bold and compassionate leader in the response to HIV. Ramjee firmly believed in health as a fundamental human right. Her ground-breaking research in HIV prevention contributed to the global response to HIV and Aids. Our thoughts during this difficult time are with her family, colleagues and the many people her life and work touched."

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Mkhize announces 1 353 confirmed cases, 2 new fatalities

Winning numerous awards in the field of HIV prevention clinical trials, Ramjee was awarded the international Lifetime Achievement Award for HIV Prevention.

The European Development Clinical Trials Partnership honoured her with the Outstanding Female Scientist Award for her life's work in finding prevention methods.

Churchyard said that both the Aurum Institute and global HIV research community would not only be mourning her passing but celebrating the immense contribution she had made to HIV response in her lifetime.

Briefly.co.za reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize had announced that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 1 353 on Tuesday, with a total of five deaths noted.

While Mkhize warned that it is still to early to tell, he noted that the current numbers are far below what the earlier predictions had indicated.

The minister had revealed that experts had indicated around 4 000 - 5 000 infections at this point in time, chalking this lower figure up to travel restrictions.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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