Provinces roll out their Covid-19 combat plans

06 April 2020 - 16:24 By Mpho Koka
Northern Cape premier Dr Zamani Saul says a large-scale Covid-19 screening operation will be conducted in all districts from Monday.
Northern Cape premier Dr Zamani Saul says a large-scale Covid-19 screening operation will be conducted in all districts from Monday.
Image: Foto24 / Emile Hendricks/ Gallo

Northern Cape premier Dr Zamani Saul says a large-scale Covid-19 screening operation will be conducted in all districts from Monday, as several provinces announced their interventions to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Specific focus will be placed on the Phokwane area where there are six confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The first two cases that were confirmed are the couple who attended the church conference in Bloemfontein last month. The third and fourth cases are family friends to the couple. The fifth and sixth cases are working for the initial couple.

The seventh case is in the Sol Plaatje local municipality, a person who came in contact with a German resident who had tested positive for Covid ——19.

“None of these cases are admitted in hospital, they are self-isolating at home as they presented with mild symptoms,” said the premier.

There are also two positive patients in the province who work and were tested in the Free State. One of these is from Boshof and was admitted at Gariep Medi-Clinic. The patient has been discharged after recovery, said the premier. The second is being monitored in self-isolation in De Aar.

Tracer teams have traced contacts of confirmed cased to contain the spread of the virus, the premier said.

“All contacts that are close to confirmed cases have been traced and are monitored daily.”

So far, Northern Cape has tested 223 people of whom 160 are negative. Test results were awaited for 55 suspected cases.

Food parcels are being delivered to 47,700 beneficiaries across the province, with the help of the department of social development, the premier added, at a cost of R38m.

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for economic development, tourism & environmental affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, said she would this week announce a series of interventions aimed at stimulating the local economy and helping emerging entrepreneurs over the next few months.

“We understand that small players such as co-operatives, and informal traders such as street traders and hawkers have been badly affected. We undertake not to leave small players behind as they play a critical role in our economy. The interventions to be announced are primarily aimed at bridging the widening gap between the first and second economies.”

The initial stages of the intervention will begin by creating a database of existing businesses that require assistance, she said. Entrepreneurs can access this One Stop Business Portal at or WhatsApp number 063 6921634.

In Gauteng, 1,482 water tanks have been delivered to various parts of the province to ameliorate protracted water shortages in water-deprived communities.

So far, the department has made 410 water tanks available to Johannesburg, 190 to Tshwane and 166 to Ekurhuleni. Sedibeng and West Rand have received 254 and 462 respectively.

Sibusiso Mthembu, DWS’s Gauteng provincial head, said the department was partnering other stakeholders to provide not only water but soap and sanitisers to communities to enable them to practise proper hygiene.

He called on water users to report burst pipes and leaks.

“While we appeal to communities to wash their hands regularly, we also want to urge them to use water sparingly. Water is one of the important resources that we must use with care,” said Mthembu.

The North West department of health announced at the weekend that it was placing all confirmed Covid-19 patients and their contacts under its supervision, after a patient left his home at the weekend.

NW health MEC Madoda Sambatha said a Covid-19 patient from Bloemhof could not be found at home and had to be tracked down to a farm in Welkom in the Free State. The patient was immediately put under the care of the department.

“We should all the time know where Covid-19 positive people and their contacts are to prevent further spread. That way, we will be able to monitor their prognosis and make appropriate decisions,” Sambatha said.

Sambatha and his agriculture counterpart in the province, Desbo Mohono, have also inspected two mine hospitals in Matlosana area for their readiness to receive state patients.

The two hospitals, Westvaal in Orkney and Duff Scott in Stilfontein, have been earmarked as overflow facilities should Klerksdorp Hospital be overwhelmed. This is to ensure that health services are not compromised.

Klerksdorp Hospital is the only designated Covid-19 hospital in the North West.

“We have done inspection on additional bed capacity. In the programme of fighting Covid-19, each province has to have additional bed capacity in case our facilities are overwhelmed like what is happening in other countries.

“The facilities we inspected are ready to be utilised should the need arise. We are looking for another facility, this time in Bojanala Platinum district where most positive cases for Covid-19 have been confirmed thus far,’’ he said.

North West has 11 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with no deaths recorded.

Capricorn district in Limpopo says it has helped a pensioner in Zebediela, Rama village, with a new “VIP toilet” and small water container after a concerned member of the community reported his living situation to municipal officials.

“The old man was living alone and had no water, ablution facility or electricity,” the municipality said.

It said this initiative is about “restoring human dignity and responding to the basic human needs” of community members.

The municipality provided a water tanker for people living in the area.