Covid-19: Joburg inner city residents, workers concerned as positive cases increase daily

A woman walks through Alexandra, Gauteng, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A woman walks through Alexandra, Gauteng, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images
  • Residents and workers in Johannesburg's CBD have expressed fear over the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
  • The Johannesburg inner city has so far recorded 821 cases of the virus.
  • Concerned residents have called for the deployment of government officials to educate and inform people about the virus.

People residing and working in the Johannesburg city centre have raised fears about the spiralling cases of Covid-19 in the area.

According to figures released by the Gauteng Department of Health on Thursday, 821 people have tested positive, with 234 recoveries. This is the highest number of cases in a suburb in the province. 

Thando Ndaba, who works and also resides in town, said she had heard over the radio that the CBD was now a hotspot.

"I am informed about the virus and I am aware that what we are seeing now is just early days, the worst is coming. As a person who interacts with many different people on a daily basis, I wear my mask and cover my face with a plastic face shield," said Ndaba.

Ndaba observed that many of her clients refused to wear face masks, despite her advice.


"Some people here don't listen. They think that this virus doesn't exist at all. As a mother, I am worried about my health and life. I don't want to be statistic. I carry my small sanitiser and regularly spray my hands before and after touching money," Ndaba said.

READ | Covid-19: Joburg Mayor Geoff Makhubo tests negative

Sinqobile Nkiwane, who also sells her wares in town, is afraid of contracting the virus.

Nkiwane said she was unable to relax when interacting with customers.

"Many of my customers are taxi drivers and I don't know who they have met before coming to buy from my stall. If only I had money, I would stay home and not bother to come and work.

"Who is going to feed my children, who will pay for my rent if I don't come and work? This virus is dangerous and I don't want to get it," said Nkiwane.

More fear

Nomfundo Sibiya said the recent statistics made her even more scared.

"I am at a risk of contracting the virus. I don't know if people that I meet have the virus or not. I visit many shops and rely on sanitisers there to wash my hands. I am going to buy my own and keep my hands clean at all times," Sibiya said.

READ | Gauteng gears up for Covid-19 onslaught

Siyanda Chonco and Zama Hlatswayo earn a living by washing vehicles.

The two friends said they were always at risk when performing their job.

"We don't know whether drivers of the vehicles we wash daily have the virus or not. We have heard that the coronavirus spreads in many ways, including through door handles and other objects inside a car.

"We are scared and there is nothing we can do because we need to eat, pay rent and maintain our families back home with the little money we make here. Our plea is to the government to deploy officials, who will continuously educate people in town about this virus," said Hlatswayo.

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