Looters with Covid-19 symptoms must get tested, says Kubayi -Reveals 47,500 vaccine doses lost to looting

23 July 2021 - 09:20 By tanya farber
Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has urged KZN and Gauteng communities to help with contact tracing after some arrested looters tested positive.
Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has urged KZN and Gauteng communities to help with contact tracing after some arrested looters tested positive.
Image: GCIS/Jairus Mmutle

Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has urged those involved in the unrest in Gauteng and KZN to get tested if they experience Covid-19 symptoms.

She said the correctional services department had told her “quite a number of people who were arrested have tested positive”. 

At a briefing early on Friday, she said: “In contact tracing, [people] will have to say where they have been and perhaps some are staying away for fear of saying so.

“But community members must appeal to those people, to protect their own families and communities.”

She added: “We are worried that the many gatherings during the unrest in Gauteng and KZN may lead to another surge in numbers and we will watch closely. We must screen and test in these communities.”

She said the “riots that had engulfed” the two provinces had “added to the complexity of the fight against Covid and that the violent nature of the riots had unsettled the healthcare system”.

More than 120 private pharmacies had been destroyed and 47,500 vaccine doses had been lost.

On the bigger picture, she confirmed that the country is on a “downward trend” in terms of infections” and that Gauteng, which has been the epicentre of the third wave in the country, had seen a “significant drop in numbers”.

She added, however, that this drop in no way implies South Africans should lower their guard.

“This virus has not stopped spreading and the Delta variant is still very much here. We need to intensify the fight against the virus and observe all the non-pharmaceutical interventions,” she said.

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