PMB townships take virus threat lightly

Sobantu residents (from left) Mlumisi Manyoni, Ntshelelo Madlala and Nkanyiso Morgan say they don’t believe Covid-19 exists
Sobantu residents (from left) Mlumisi Manyoni, Ntshelelo Madlala and Nkanyiso Morgan say they don’t believe Covid-19 exists
MOEKETSI MAMANE

Covid who?

That was the response at some Pietermaritzburg townships from residents who said they were not fazed by the Covid-19 virus.

In Sobantu, residents who were seen milling around in groups on the streets playing soccer and a game known as ama-dice told Weekend Witness they didn;t believe in the existence of the virus.

“Covid-19 is a myth,” said Mlumusi Manyoni laughing.

“Do you personally know anyone who has died of the virus? All we’re being fed by government is statistics. Thats a fallacy. I don’t wear a mask because no one in Sobantu has the virus,” he said.

Manyoni’s friends said they too did not believe the Covid-19 virus existed. “There’s never been a lockdown here,” Nselelo Madlala told Weekend Witness.

“We share cigarettes and drink from the same beer bottle. You can see for yourself that its business as usual. We have more important things to worry about.

“Most of us don’t have jobs. Those who had temporary employment have been let off because of Covid-19. Our biggest worry right now is putting food on the table ... not wearing a mask.”

Madlala questioned how government could let pupils go back to school if Covid-19 was lethal.

“Why are children back at school when parliament is still closed? There’s just no logic. Why open taverns and other liquor outlets but in the same breath say there’s a deadly virus.”

The friends said that government should lift the lockdown completely.

In Imbali, Mzwamandla Madondo, from Imbali 14 said he only wore a mask when going into the CBD.

“I have to be honest, wearing a mask the whole day is challenging. It fogs up my glasses and its difficult breathing in the mask.”

Madondo felt that more awareness was needed in the townships and rural areas around the spread of Covid-19. “A lot of people in the townships are taking this lightly. There are so many conspiracy theories and they are going to fuel the spread of this virus.

“Many people believe that health facilities and establishments are making money from the pandemic by stating that patients have died of the virus when they actually haven’t. It’s like HIV. There was a lot of denialism and by the time people realised the disease was real, for others it was already too late.”

France resident Nobuhle Mhlongo said she also believed that government is not telling the truth about the virus.

“Government is falsely representing the symptoms of the virus or saying that way fewer or way more people are dying than actually are.”

She said there was little to no social distancing where she stayed.

Sibusiso Zuma from Sobantu said when the initial lockdown was announced, most residents adhered to the regulations and stayed at home. “People are fed up now,” Zuma said.

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