Covid rules ignored in Dunoon, Parklands hot spots

Dunoon residents say it’s hard to stay home and physically distance when you live in shacks that are practically on top of each other.

Dunoon and Parklands remain hot spots as Covid-19 cases continue to climb daily.

According to many who live in these two areas, people just aren’t listening to the government’s guidelines and there are still those who refuse to wear a mask or physically distance.

On Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa had recorded 190 000 new Covid cases and 4 600 deaths since the start of the new year.

In Dunoon, at the beginning of December, there were 940 known positive cases. As of January 1 this year, that number stood at 1222, making Dunoon the suburb with the 14th highest number of cases in the province. Parklands is 16th on that list with 1176 cases – a jump from the 727 cases recorded in December.

Residents say the time for blaming the government is over; it’s time for people to start acting more responsibly.

William Becker, of Parklands, fears for his life and the lives of his family.

“I am constantly paranoid,” he said. “I try to avoid going anywhere, and I caution my kids whenever they leave the house. Personally, I know a few people who have died from this virus, and it infuriates me that there are still those who seem to not care about it.”

Some in Dunoon say Covid-19 is just the tip of many problems in the neighbourhood.

Nearly two million people worldwide have died from Covid-19 and with new variants of the virus being discovered in South Africa and other parts of the world, some fear the worst has yet to come.

Precious Meke, of Dunoon, said many in her community failed to take the virus seriously and had carried on like normal throughout lockdown.

“That is why our community is a hot spot for this virus and other illnesses that plague us here,” she said. “We can’t seem to follow instructions by the government, and people feel the need to always be outside and socialise. People are being irresponsible, and now we’re in fear for our lives here. I fear that the worst is yet to come.”

Sam Mbanda, who owns a tuck shop on Parklands Main Road, said many of his customers came in with their masks under their chins or just covering their mouths.

“I have to tell them all the time to cover properly because I have to think about my health and the health of my other customers. I provide hand sanitiser at the door, but some people just walk past like they don’t see it. People don’t take this seriously.”

Dr Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said the public had to play its part to limit the spread of the virus.

“The message has been very clear about what the public can do to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, and it boggles the mind that some people continue to disregard this critical guidance and advice,” he said.

“There is a great responsibility on each and every one of us to do what we can to fight this pandemic, and I urge the public to please get on board and help us to help them.

“Residents are advised to stay home and leave only for essential shopping or health visits, or to go to work; abide by the current disaster management regulations, which prohibit social gatherings; wear a mask at all times when in public and maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from others at all times.”

As of Tuesday morning, the Western Cape had 48 416 active cases, 186 403 recoveries and 8 363 deaths. The Western Cape has the third most recorded cases of the nine provinces (243 182) and its cases account for 19% of the total cases in South Africa.