Coronavirus: 'We need immediate intervention' - Lesufi on Alex Women's Hostel

MEC Panyaza Lesufi during a social visit to Pretoria West Rugby Stadium, a site where about 400 homeless people have been moved to temporarily. (Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images)
MEC Panyaza Lesufi during a social visit to Pretoria West Rugby Stadium, a site where about 400 homeless people have been moved to temporarily. (Alet Pretorius, Gallo Images)

Gauteng Education and acting Social Development MEC Panyaza Lesufi says the Alexandra Women’s Hostel is in dire need of immediate intervention.

Lesufi's concern was a result of seeing the hygienic state of the hostel amid the global outbreak of Covid-19.

"If something were to happen here, we are in a disaster. We need immediate intervention, but it is one of the issues we need to attend to when we do housing allocations.

"We also need to accommodate people who are in this kind of environment," he told the media in the densely populated Alexandra on Wednesday.

The Gauteng government was in Alexandra to hand out sanitisers, dignity packs and food parcels to community members during the 21-day lockdown.

Should the need arise, Lesufi said the provincial government was looking at alternatives for people located in vulnerable areas.

"The state is trying to procure major facilities, to get major sites that will allow us to re-allocate people in case we get a need. Now that we are in mass testing, we think this will give us an indication. These tests will assist the province," Lesufi added.

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

News24 earlier reported that a patient from Alexandra tested positive for the coronavirus after contracting it from his employer. He disregarded an instruction to remain at home and travelled out of the province to Limpopo prior to the lockdown announcement.

He has since been placed in self-isolation at a health facility in Limpopo.

The Gauteng Department of Health subsequently placed another five people under quarantine after they had direct contact with the above-mentioned patient.

On Tuesday, the MEC for health in the province, Bandile Masuku, rolled out mass testing in the area.

The department's spokesperson, Kwara Kekana, told News24 on Thursday that the operation was important.

"We managed to screen over 1 600 people and test over 150 people. It will also assist us with regards to improving our approach going into other communities," she said.

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