Concerns about township levels of compliance with regulations

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The level of awareness and compliance with the lockdown regulations in Gauteng have improved but areas in some townships remain a concern for the government.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has attributed compliance with the regulations to the law enforcement agencies who have been conducting integrated operations across the province to enforce regulations and combat crime.

“As a result, compliance and public awareness has significantly improved since the national lockdown on 27 March. In particular there is more compliance in the public transport system, open public spaces and shopping malls.

“However, there are still areas of concern in the townships where behavioural change and compliance are not yet at the level required. We note there are still areas in some of our townships where people are walking up and down as if COVID-19 does not exist.

“There are still areas where people are not wearing masks, people gather in crowds and some play sports in the football grounds,” the Premier said.

He was on Thursday leading a media briefing by the Provincial Command Council which gave an update on COVID-19.

The provincial government has been having intensive engagements and inspections of various businesses that are open under level 4 in order to ensure full compliance with the World Health Organization and safety protocols.

High-risk sectors have been identified as retail, public transport, manufacturing and mining.

“Employers will be required to provide a workplace risk assessment plant that should include, but not limited to – the provision of screening and testing facilities, sanitary and social distancing measures and measures to protect vulnerable employees. The government continues to disinfect building, screen and test staff,” the Premier said.

Gauteng COVID-19 stats

As of Wednesday, Gauteng has 2 400 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 1 729 recoveries, 27 deaths and 644 active cases.

The province has screened a total of 4 480 546 people, with Tshwane accounting for 32% of screenings, Johannesburg is at 23%, Ekurhuleni is at 23%, Sedibeng 10%, West Rand 8% and Correctional Services at 5%. A total of 506 861 tests have been conducted to date.

“Cumulatively 363 patients were admitted in hospital, 275 of whom were discharged and 27 succumbed to the infection. To date, 62 patients are admitted in the hospital, four of whom are ventilated and 20 on oxygen. Our clinicians emphasise that early interventions are important (oxygenation, fluid supportive treatment, prone position and blood-thinning) could be the reason behind fewer complications,” Makhura said.

In Gauteng, contact tracing is at 98%. The province has been putting the contacts of COVID-19 patients who live townships in its quarantine facilities.

“Contact tracing is very important because it is the basis that we can contain the spread and ensure we limit the number of people who are infected,” he said.

Personal Protective Equipment

According to the Premier, the province has adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in stock based on the current patient load. However, the province continues to order more stock for the next phases.

The province has 11 458 008 PPE stock and has ordered 75 405 708 PPE stock.

“We have been able to deliver 135 880 food parcels to households, being able to feed 684 400 people. We are proving temporary shelter to the homeless in 47 shelters across the province, working with municipalities,” Makhura said.

A total of 3 167 homeless people are being provided with three meals on a daily basis plus psychosocial support, medical assessments and treatment for substance abuse.

The Premier has noted that a lot of homeless people are leaving shelters to return to the streets. 

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