SEKHUKHUNE – The entire Sekhukhune district is now a COVID-19 hotspot, heard the COVID-19 District Command Council during its virtual meeting on Tuesday, 21 July 2020.
According to the DCC, the devastating revelation comes after months when Fetakgomo Tubatse Local Municipality was the only identified Coronavirus hotspots due to influence of the mines.
During the meeting, the health department was quick to paint a disturbing picture in which villages, townships and towns in Sekhukhune district continued to record high infection rates.
The DCC was informed that on Tuesday, 21 July 2020, the district had 824 positive cases, 481 recoveries, 338 active cases and five COVID-19 deaths.
The meeting also heard that the number of health workers who tested positive was 135 with 38 recoveries and that the numbers excluded those from the mines, which were being processed.
Executive Mayor Stanley Ramaila, the DCC’s Chairperson, pleaded that the current state of affairs required that all took serious action, stay safe and safe other people around.
Ramaila said the district was at the peak of the pandemic and that the surge was still rearing its ugly head.
“If we are not responsible, I foresee catastrophe in our district. I wish to repeat that no one must die after testing positive for COVID-19. All persons must hasten to get medical help immediately after showing early signs. Equally, it is imperative that we dispel the myth that Coronavirus is a foreign disease. It is here in Sekhukhune today and we need to intensify all efforts to fight it,” said Ramaila.
The council also identified the issue of burials of COVID-19 victims as another thorny one and against that background; it recommended that all guidelines to that effect needed to be followed strictly.
It agreed that as cardinal points towards the burial of COVID-19 victims, the deceased must be buried within three days, family members must not touch the corpse of COVID-19 victims, only workers under funeral parlous, dressed in PPEs could process the corpse from death to burial, residents familiarise themselves with all regulations governing the burial of COVID-19 victims.
Ramaila said to put concrete expression to the above mentioned, they have appointed all SDM environmental health practitioners as compliance officers and that the process to appoint them also as peace officers was nearing conclusion.
“We are very serious about the matter of burials of COVID-19 victims. Today, we have heard that 71 funerals have been administered and from that, five were COVID-19 cases. We are therefore appealing to our communities never to tempt this government into action against bereaved families during these difficult times. We need to stand together as one,” said the chairperson.
The DCC was also informed that water supply interventions by SDM during this period were being implemented seamlessly.
In addition, the DCC heard that a report on Moutse temporary water supply intervention also painted a motivating picture.