Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says they are looking at calling off all public events in the country due to COVID-19 spikes in hotspot areas. Mkhize says sports tournaments, entertainment festivals, going to the beach and parks across the country during the festive season could be prohibited.
Mkhize was speaking during a meeting with stakeholders from Sarah Baartman District Municipality in Port Elizabeth today.
Mkhize says the National Command Council is currently deliberating on various proposals received from Mayors and Premiers to contain the spread of the virus.
Some of the proposals made by different municipalities under the Sarah Baartman District Municipality to curb the spread of this virus include the closure of beaches and public swimming pools, allowing only alcohol takeaways from taverns, suspend the initiation season and to reduce the curfew to 10pm.
Kouga and Makana Local Municipalities are the hotspots in the district. Sarah Baartman District Municipality Speaker Scara Njandayi says the district is on the border of Free State, Western and Northern Cape and this could also contribute to the increasing infections.
“Sarah Baartman, it surrounds Nelson Mandela Metro. Nelson Mandela Metro is in the centre of Sarah Baartman. So you must go through Sarah Baartman to reach Nelson Mandela Bay. If you come from Tsitsikamma that side, the borders of the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape and you are going to Makhanda you must pass by Nelson Mandela Bay. Equally, Sarah Baartman is surrounded by three provinces. It is located on the borders of those three provinces.”
Nelson Mandela Bay declared a coronavirus hotspot:
Proposals to curb coronavirus spread
Minister Mkhize says they are looking at prevention measures to avert the spread of this virus in those areas that are not hotspots currently, as part of summer season safety.
“Activities of such nature are what we call super spreader events and that’s what we need to avoid. It’s a very difficult time and obviously, unfortunately, it’s a time we should be relaxing and enjoying ourselves and entertaining ourselves but we have to choose, entertaining ourselves at the risk of someone getting sick or maybe even losing lives. It’s actually not a very responsible way of doing things.”
Mkhize says another proposal they are looking at, is fining people who are not wearing masks in public.
“People, they simply ignore the masks, that’s why at this point this outbreak has actually come out quicker than we expected in terms of what we observed in other countries and part of it has got to do with complacency and the issue of the mask seems to be optional and we need to firm up in that particular issue.”
Following a meeting of the National Command Council and the Cabinet, President Cyril Ramaphosa will make an announcement on all the summer season proposals including those from the Sarah Baartman District Municipality. Author- Mcebisi Ngqina
The post Calling off public events a possibility amid rising COVID-19 infections: Mkhize appeared first on SABC News – Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader..