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Concern over casual attitude to lockdown

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Community members are not abiding by the rules of the lockdown, according to the Frances Baard District Municipality.

File image. Picture: AP Photo Francois Mori

The District Joint Operations Centre (DJOC) has expressed concern that despite the fact the Francis Baard District remains the area highest affected by Covid-19 in the Province, community members are not abiding by the rules of the lockdown.

In a statement issued by the Frances Baard District Municipality, it was pointed out that since its inception, the DJOC had stressed the fact that community members in the district were not abiding by the rules of the lockdown.

“Too many people keep going about their daily lives as if we are not experiencing one of the worst epidemics in recent times. Hotspot areas in the district were identified to be mainly in the Sol Plaatje municipal area and areas where people had gone about their daily lives without adhering to the lockdown regulations,” the statement from the district municipality stated.

“Medical facilities in the district have also experienced an increase in infections among their own staff, which has placed more stress on the provision of services. The continuous opening and closing of clinics for decontamination also exacerbates the situation.”

The statement pointed out that the disaster management unit of the municipality, in collaboration with the environmental health unit, had been decontaminating facilities in the district on a continuous basis since the start of the national lockdown.

“The focus has been primarily on community health centres, clinics, and hospitals. Other facilities that are decontaminated include municipal buildings, community halls and taxi ranks.”

The district’s environmental health practitioners are, meanwhile, also involved in conducting regular training and awareness campaigns to inform and educate funeral undertakers regarding the regulations and procedures for funerals.

“They also conduct regular inspections of tuckshops and assess the compliance of these facilities, especially the compliance to the lockdown regulations.

“Throughout their daily operations they also create awareness on the coronavirus through campaigns and the sharing of information.”

The district currently has six quarantine sites with 237 beds that are ready to receive patients, should the need arise.

According to the district municipality, areas in the district that did not have sufficient access to water have been provided with water tanks.

“A total of 248 water tanks were installed in the district, including 51 in Phokwane of which 47 have been permanently installed, 105 permanent tanks (were installed) in Sol Plaatje, 31 permanent tanks in Magareng and 61 tanks in Dikgatlong of which 60 are permanently installed.

In terms of education, the district municipality reported that, according to the Department of Education, the curriculum completion rate at schools is low and is being affected by the lockdown.

“Challenges experienced at schools include the fact that most educators have been trained in face-to-face pedagogies in a classroom setup and Covid-19 forces educators and policymakers to consider alternative innovations to get the work done.”

The district, meanwhile, also conveyed its condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives as a result of the Covid-19 epidemic.

According to the latest Covid-19 statistics, there are a total of 4 105 people in the Frances Baard District who have tested positive for the virus to date, while 79 deaths have been reported. This includes four deaths in Dikgatlong, two in Magareng, 12 in Phokwane and 61 in Sol Plaatje.