Lockdown: Some Alexandra residents ready to defy quarantine orders if they test positive

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Some residents of Setjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra, Johannesburg are seemingly ready to disobey the government's efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading in the area.

The area, which is highly congested, is where a resident, who tested positive, was from and was tracked to Tzaneen after he allegedly fled there.

Those who settled close to the man told News24 on Monday that there was no way they could test positive for the deadly virus.

The neighbours claimed they were all negative except for one.

This despite efforts from the government to find out who was in contact with the man.

READ | Coronavirus: At least 9 Alex residents quarantined after contact with Covid-19 delinquent

At least nine residents have been taken into quarantine after they had contact with him.

The small shacks are mere metres from each other and residents believe the close proximity will not impact them from contracting the disease.

Last week, the provincial Department of Health embarked on a mass screening exercise in the settlement to establish who could have the virus and quickly isolate them from spreading it.

A defiant Maropeng Mohomi said she and her three-year-old child were negative even though they were awaiting their results.

She added even if her results came back positive, she would not go into isolation.

"I am not going anywhere, positive or negative. I have a small child who I have to look after and who will look after him if I am taken away?" Mohomi asked.

Going nowhere

Her neighbour, Rovonia Malatji who lives a few steps away, claimed she was negative even though she was also awaiting her results.

"I have no symptoms of the coronavirus. I also will not go into isolation. The person who tested positive earlier is negative now and I don't think that he was ever positive at all.

"Here in Setjwetla, we don't have [the] coronavirus. If my neighbour doesn't have the virus it means we who live next to his home are also negative," she said.

Carlos Mabunda also vowed he would not go into isolation regardless of his outstanding results.

"We were all tested for Covid-19 last week and are all negative. When they came to test us here, I was relaxed and willingly participated because I know that I am negative," he said.

His friend and neighbour, Lucas Moyane, said he was not worried about his results because it would come back negative.

READ | Coronavirus: Gauteng govt hands out sanitiser at densely populated women’s hostel in Alex

He added if his results came back positive, he would simply go into quarantine to be cured.

"I was excited when I tested because I wanted to prove to government officials that we are all negative here.

"I own a hair salon and I tested because I wanted to be free and not to infect my clients if I have it. If I am negative, I am not going anywhere," Mabunda said.

He claimed that since the lockdown was announced, he had lost his income because his business was not classified as an essential service.

Residents claimed since their neighbour tested positive, they were being stigmatised by other residents from other parts of Alexandra.

They said they are being labelled as the carriers of Covid-19.


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