Premier se Covid-19 bekampingstrategie vir NK – persverklaring

NOORD–KAAP – Dr. Zamani Saul, premier van die Noord-Kaap, het die provinsiale regering se strategie vir die implementering van die inperking en aanvullende maatreëls om die verspreiding van COVID-19 te bekamp, bekendgemaak.

Hier is die volledige persverklaring:

Statement by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, on the Northern Cape Provincial Government COVID-19 Provincial Command Council on the implementation of the lockdown and additional measures to curb the spread of COVID-19

26 March 2020

On Monday, 23 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nation-wide lockdown as a response to the rapid rise in the number of people infected with CoronavirusCOVID-19. The President also announced additional measures to mitigate the social and economic impact of COVID-19.

As a Province, we welcome this decisive leadership from the President and the National Cabinet at this critical moment when the world faces a threat causing large scale loss of life and severe human suffering.

This is a crisis which calls on our collective responsibility to respond. The Northern Cape Provincial Government therefore fully supports the lockdown and all new measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.  This end we have met with all political parties that have availed themselves, organised business and organised labour to share our plans with them.

As we stated in last week’s media briefing, we are ready to respond to the Pandemic. The lockdown therefore will not compromise essential government services in the Province. This is not a public holiday and no official can consider him/herself to be on leave. All officials must be reachable during this time and attend to any critical matter as reported. The Premier, MECs, Director-General, Heads of Department, senior officials, mayors and officials at municipalities and all essential services will all be on active duty. Skeleton staff in each department will be working from their offices with other public servants working from home.

With the deployment of the SANDF, we will be increasing visibility and conduct integrated foot patrols, roadblocks, vehicle checkpoints as of midnight tonight. Operations especially roadblocks will be conducted at sector policing level within communities and residential areas, on provincial and national roads. This is to ensure that the movement of people and vehicles is kept to a minimum, with the exception of the transportation of essential goods and/ or services which includes medical emergency and fire services. At these roadblocks, motorists and especially essential service workers that cross provincial borders, will be subjected to screening by officials from the Department of Health.

Only Minibus Taxis will be allowed to transport essential services workers and those that are allowed to make the necessary permitted movements from 05:00 to 09:00 and again from 16:00 to 20:00. Operators must put measures in place to adhere to social distancing in order to curb the spread of the virus.

Police will ensure the restriction of movement of persons and goods. There shall be absolutely no gatherings, other than for a funeral, where the number of mourners will be restricted to 50. Night vigils are not permitted during this period.

During national lockdown the selling of liquor is strictly prohibited. This is applicable also to those supermarkets with liquor licenses. All forms of crime must be reported at 10111, that will remain fully functional during Lockdown, with tip offs of criminal activities. SAPS and SANDF will remain visible on the streets throughout.

The Northern Cape Department of Health will continue rendering health care services to the communities during the national lockdown period, as it is providing essential services. The personnel at the facilities are ready to deal with health challenges during the normal working operational hours of clinics (07:00 – 16:00) and 24hours for Community Health Centres as well as hospitals. We are working towards ensuring that chronic stable patients are provided with three months’ supply of medication to reduce waiting times at clinics. The department further appeals to community members to only visit health facilities when it is necessary. It must be noted that national lock down does not allow visits to patients admitted at health facilities.

The designated sites for COVID-19 suspects are ready for admission, in cases where there is a need for hospitalisation. The quarantine sites are ready at all districts for those community members who may not have enough space for self -isolation at their homes. If people have been in contact with positive COVID-19 patients, they need to self-isolate for about fourteen (14) days even though they may not have any symptoms like fever, dry cough, body aches and headache. This will ensure that the spread of the virus is contained and not further spread to other areas.

SASSA and Social Development

SASSA local offices will be closed from midnight on 26 March to 16 April 2020. No new applications for social grants will be attended to during the lockdown. Medical assessments for applicants of Disability Grants are suspended. Home, clinic and hospital visits and community outreach programmes are suspended with immediate effect. It should be noted that social grant amounts have been increased with effect from the 1st April 2020.

On 30 & 31 March Old Age and Disability grants will be paid. Money will be available at ATMs, post offices and supermarkets. On 01 April all other grants will be paid. Priority queue management will give preference to elderly and people with disabilities. Payment at cash pay points will take place from 03 – 14 April.  No more than 100 people will be served at a time at paypoint. Please be patient and bring an umbrella and own drinking water. Stay at least 1 metre away from the next person in a queue.

Interventions relating to the care and protection of vulnerable groups and individuals have been developed. During this period, we will cater for 47700 households, with a food parcel at a cost of R38 million. Districts including together with our municipalities working with the security officials will support this initiative by allocating officials to each food provision point for food distribution. District Management will do spot checks to ensure that arrangements are adhered to and guidelines are implemented. Food will be delivered to homes to limit movement by citizens and those delivering food will have protective gear and adhere to hygiene protocols.

The Department of Social Development will make available phone numbers where members of the community can call to receive information pertaining to shelters and nutrition. All shelters will remain functional and we will ensure that food is provided to Old Age Homes, Shelters, Child and Youth Care Centres and Rehabilitation Centres. Six shelters will be established for the homeless and street children.

Water and Sanitation

Provision of water to especially the most vulnerable community members in informal settlements during the shutdown, is of critical importance during the lockdown. The population without water in the Province amounts to 21 000 households. The frequent proper washing of hands during this period is of utmost importance to prevent the spread of the virus. Approximately 550 thousand litre water will be installed in areas where there is no water infrastructure. These tanks will be filled daily by a fleet of about 50 water trucks. The first tanks have already been delivered in Warrenton, Kimberley and van Wyksvlei.

Agriculture

The agriculture and food supply sector is one of essential systems for livelihood and therefore will remain operational. Our food supply system will remain functional during this period. Agricultural production in all its forms will remain uncompromised. This entails all services including provision of veterinary and advisory services. Live auctions of livestock and sale of other agricultural commodities will continue but under the strict conditions as prescribed by the President. Exports and imports of critical agriculture commodities and the logistical measures will continue during this lock down period to ensure global and national food security.

Together with the industry we are working on a sector operational procedures that would ensure adherence to the measures announced by the President this includes the provision of sanitation to employees within the sector especially farm workers. We urge the food value chain role players to strictly comply and adhere to strict health regulations to contain and arrest COVID-19 as we strive to supply food to the nation.

The National Security Cluster will announce measures and regulations about movement of people during the lockdown.

No resident in the Province will be allowed to travel to other parts of the country during the 21-Day nation-wide lockdown in order to minimize the risk of getting infected or spreading the infection. Such movement will undermine the purpose of lockdown, which is to minimize infections and contain the spread of COVID-19.

We wish to emphasise that while Government has the responsibility to intervene and treat those needing treatment, there are many things that all of us can and must do as part of our comprehensive response to the pandemic. Firstly, we must stress the importance of the following preventative measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin immediately;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Ladies and gentlemen, the resulting containment of the Covid19 virus is one that we must fight together. This virus might not infect all of us but it definitely affects all of us. I call on everyone to play a positive role in the containment and ultimately the eradication of the virus. We have a moral and ethical obligation to be concerned for one another. At this stage panic is our greatest adversary. And it is for this reason that I am extremely disappointed at the headlines displayed on the street poles this morning. The headline was reckless and ill-conceived creating panic amongst our people. The media especially is a vital partner in getting the correct information to our people and their listeners. I therefore call on the media to accept the invitation to help us contain the spread of this potentially deadly virus. To the security personnel, I wish you well during this trying time. You will be out there to ensure compliance to the conditions of the Lockdown and we trust you will also stay safe.

Members of the public, please stay at home.

Ends

Released by the Northern Cape Provincial Government

Enquiries
Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, Spokesperson to the Premier

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