SEKHUKHUNE – The Sekhukhune district COVID-19 Command Council (DCC) ventilated concerns that while infections rate at the mines in Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality were diminishing, community acquired infections were increasing at an alarming rate, particularly in Elias Motsoaledi and Makhuduthamaga local municipalities.

According to the DCC, an urgent intervention in hotspots was needed to avert a looming crisis in view of the alarming increases in community infections.

Sekhukhune District Municipality Executive Mayor, Stanley Ramaila, who chairs the council, said as the curve climbed fast, the district health authorities painted a frightening picture of what lay ahead for the people in the coming weeks.

Ramaila said people ought to do everything humanly possible to protect themselves and their loved ones through taking the risks posed by the virus seriously.

The council committed to intensification of awareness campaigns through working closely with stakeholders such as traditional leaders and churches.

The DCC also expressed concerns at the fact that football tournaments continued to take place in communities and therefore, increasing infection risks.

Ramaila said another huge problem was with regard to funerals as they were aware that people increasingly reverted to old ways of attending the latter in masses.

“And we have agreed that municipalities must ensure there is compliance with the 50 persons limit by intensifying monitoring of funerals,” said Ramaila.

Furthermore, the DCC said it was reported that a group of community members violently chased out health workers and forcibly closed Magokobjana Clinic after another community member tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently passed on in hospital, after having been transferred by health workers from the clinic.

“These disruptive community members insist that the clinic be fumigated, even when health authorities inform them that the facility was disinfected. The DCC strongly condemns this bad behavior by some in the community,” said Ramaila.

The DCC Chairperson added that no one ought to interfere with the work of healthcare centres and that closing a clinic was self-defeating.

“We appeal to our communities not to be misled by people who are playing political game-plans. Leave healthcare matters to health authorities,” said Ramaila.

The DCC reiterated its request to the people of Sekhukhune to voluntarily place themselves under restrictions similar to those of alert level 5, and go out only to render essential services, attend school, buy groceries and seek medical attention.

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