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‘We fear the worst’

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“The lockdown will come into effect in the next few hours and we will be exposed to the virus. While there are some free-standing taps, it is not sufficient”

RESIDENTS living in informal settlements are fearing the worst as the national lockdown looms.

Rhythm City community spokesperson Kagiso Aries stated that while “big announcements” were made to provide informal settlements with water tanks and additional water points, for sanitary purposes in the fight against the coronavirus, no efforts had been made so far to deliver on these promises.

“The lockdown will come into effect in the next few hours and we will be exposed to the virus. While there are some free-standing taps, it is not sufficient,” said Aries.

Meanwhile, efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus at clinics in the city have resulted in patients having to wait outside for assistance.

Patients said they reported at the clinic from 5am yesterday morning, where no one was allowed to make use of the ablution facilities.

“There are expectant mothers and the elderly who have been made to wait for hours, in the hot sun. There are limited seats but the majority of us have to stand in the long queue. They told us that it is part of the preventative measures for the coronavirus. We have no privacy because we are treated in front of the rest of the patients and are given our medication outdoors.”

Sol Plaatje Municipality spokesperson Sello Matsie said a roving water tank would make water available from today to areas that do not have access to water.

“Municipal and essential services will not come to a standstill over this period. Systems will be put in place today to ensure that service delivery continues over the lockdown,” said Matsie.

He added that there would be no planned water shutdowns over the next 21 days.

The spokesperson for the MEC for Health, Lebogang Majaha, urged communities to remain calm and not to panic.

“As a Province, we will communicate a clear plan of action before the end of this week.”

Anyone who presents symptoms can call the National Institute of Communicable Diseases’ consumer 24-hour toll-free number 0800 029 999 or contact the WhatsApp number 0600 123 456 for assistance.