Cosatu's Western Cape branch concerned with rate of Covid-19 infections in province

accreditation
A medical officer of Tunisia's Department of Emergency Medical Assistance. (Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A medical officer of Tunisia's Department of Emergency Medical Assistance. (Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the Western Cape says that it is deeply concerned over the "alarming rate on increase" in Covid-19 infections in the province.

"We are of the view that urgent and immediate action is required," the union said in a statement on Saturday.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced in a briefing on Saturday that 9 420 people had tested positive for Covid-19 in the country.

READ | Covid-19: Cheap cigarettes are being sold illegally

In addition, he noted that the Western Cape remained the epicentre of the virus, with 4 809 cases.

Cosatu is particularly concerned with the large number of retail sector workers, the majority of whom are its members, who have been infected in the province.

"Shopping malls are now the new epicentres in the province, because its management has failed to put proper preventative measures in place," the union federation claimed.

Employers

Cosatu called out some employers for putting profit before the health of workers, citing an example of workers allegedly being instructed to not tell their colleagues if they were infected.

"Our province is facing the biggest health crisis ever. Accordingly, Cosatu calls for the immediate and urgent intervention of the national government.

"We need a co-ordinated response to curb the spread of the further spread of the virus in this province," Cosatu said.

News24 earlier reported in its livestream that Mkhize, in his briefing, had noted that the Western Cape’s tests were coming almost 70% positive, according to the lab reports.

Infections

"It is no secret that the Western Cape has now recorded at least 50% of all the known Covid-19 infection cases nationally," Cosatu added.

READ: Covid-19: SA's biggest one-day spike hits 663, as Western Cape records over 500 new cases

As a result, the union federation has called on the police and the army to have a bigger presence at malls and hotspots in the province.

It also called on workers and their families to help flatten the curve by staying home.

"It is our view that if urgent preventative action is not taken now immediately, we will see a disaster of unprecedented proportions," the union concluded.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to visit the province next Friday, according to the Mkhize.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Matric results are out! Are you happy with your child's result?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No, the pandemic really messed up their ability to focus
33% - 423 votes
Yes, they did well given the circumstances
67% - 875 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.30
-0.2%
Rand - Pound
20.61
-0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.31
-0.1%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.91
-0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.5%
Gold
1,842.81
-0.0%
Silver
23.83
-0.7%
Palladium
2,145.00
-0.1%
Platinum
1,023.00
-1.0%
Brent Crude
86.27
-1.9%
Top 40
65,653
0.0%
All Share
72,164
0.0%
Resource 10
71,479
0.0%
Industrial 25
90,959
0.0%
Financial 15
14,713
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE