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NC govt to outline response plan

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Access to water points will have to be increased in rural areas, for hand washing and hygiene purposes

IT WILL be business as usual for some state departments and more precautions will be taken by others, while provincial government will today outline its response to deal with the coronavirus.

The Sol Plaatje Municipality will also convene today to outline measures that will be taken to minimise the risk of infection.

A decision will have to be made regarding the operation of public libraries, swimming pools, parks and clinics, as well as if council meetings will continue as normal.

Council must also indicate if the electricity supply of those in arrears will continue to be disrupted, in order to decrease the number of people entering the building to make payment agreements.

Access to water points will have to be increased in rural areas, for hand washing and hygiene purposes.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Dimakatso Mooi said the SAPS was mandated to prevent, combat and investigate crimes. “At the same time there is a responsibility to ensure that employees are protected from this life-threatening disease, hence there are precautionary measures in place. There will also be disinfectants placed at all reception areas, especially community service centres (CSC) for continuous cleaning of hands. Normal policing will continue and cases will be investigated as regulated.”

The Northern Cape Provincial Legislature (NCPL) has meanwhile cancelled the house sitting that was scheduled to take place in Pofadder on Thursday in response to the coronavirus prevention measures.

The spokesperson for the Office of the Speaker, Mpho Masina, said the house sitting would instead be held in Kimberley.

“There will be no mobilisation of members of the public, so as to avoid a big audience.”

She added that members were expected to go on constituency leave from March 21.

“As per the programme of the NCPL, no committee meetings have been scheduled at least up until after the Easter period.”

Masina stated that the legislature would adhere to measures pronounced on both travel and gatherings.

The spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority in the Free State and Northern Cape, Phaladi Shuping, said that the court rolls would not be affected as yet.

“Until we receive a directive from the national office and the Department of Justice, it will be business as usual.”

While no Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in the Northern Cape, the spokesperson for the Office of the Premier, Bronwyn Thomas-Abrahams, said rapid response teams had been established in all five districts of the Province.

“Provincial government is in the process of establishing a provincial command council in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.”

She added that a team of contact tracers would work with the rapid response team.

“In order to further assess the provincial readiness, the premier, Dr Zamani Saul, held a meeting with the Department of Health, led by MEC Mase Manopole, to reflect on some of the issues raised by the president. More information pertaining to our provincial plans will be made available this week.

“We do, however, call on members of the community to remain on high alert and adhere to the Covid-19 pandemic protocols. We advocate hand washing with soap and water and to practice cough hygiene to prevent the spread of sickness. We call on communities to remain calm and refrain from spreading fake news concerning the virus.”

Government Communication and Information Systems yesterday confirmed that the national Human Rights celebrations that would have been held in Colesberg this coming weekend have been cancelled.

Other activities throughout the country, as well as lead-up programmes to the main event, such as memorial lectures that were supposed to be held this week in Colesberg, have also been cancelled.