Covid-19: Limpopo command council concerned about disregard for safety measures as cases rise

  • The Limpopo Provincial Coronavirus Command Council met to discuss rising Covid-19 numbers in the province.
  • It described residents' adherence to safety protocols as "lacklustre".
  • It also accused some municipalities of failing to adhere to protocols.

Limpopo is experiencing a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases which authorities blame on the apparent failure of people and organisations to adhere to safety protocols.

The Provincial Coronavirus Command Council (PCCC) met on Wednesday amid increasing numbers in some regions, such as Vhembe and Mopani.

The PCCC said, in a statement after the meeting, that the increase was due to the "lacklustre behaviour amongst Limpopo people".

It also accused some municipalities of failing to adhere to general health protocols.

Late on Wednesday, there were 416 positive cases. The figure is expected to rise as tests continue to be conducted in public and private facilities.

Preparing for reopening of schools

"They (the members of PCCC) also noted the disregard of health protocols like [social] distancing, washing of hands and wearing of masks as key elements in [fighting] infections.

"The command council continues to caution [against] lacklustre behaviour amongst Limpopo people…" the PCCC said.

This comes as the province prepares for the reopening of schools to 963 000 pupils in all grades on 6 July.

Four pupils and teachers have tested positive so far since schools were reopened for pupils in Grades 7 and 12 earlier this month.

At the same time, the PCCC was silent on the increased harvesting of a plant known as Lengana, punted by some people as a remedial herb for Covid-19.

The herb, which was said to have been used locally for many years to treat colds and flu, is now being sold on the streets. But police are cracking down on the vendors.

A number of health workers who spoke to News24 raised concerns that many people showing signs of Covid-19 may turn to the herb and not present themselves for testing, thus increasing the risk of the spread of the disease.

'Been quite hectic' for premier

Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

There is still no cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the DA has lambasted Premier Stan Mathabatha for "abandoning" bi-weekly meetings on Covid-19 with elected opposition parties in the province.

13 healthcare workers from Cuba were deployed in L
Thirteen healthcare workers from Cuba were deployed in Limpopo to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

The DA's Katlego Phala said there were many developments in the province and opposition parties were not briefed on any meaningful details.

The last meeting was on 7 May.

However, the premier's spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, said there was nothing untoward.

"The said meetings were not cast in stone. The past few weeks have been quite hectic for the premier, chairing several meetings. The next meeting will be very soon," Mathivha said.

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