Four people in Dunoon have tested positive for Covid-19, but many in the township still aren’t taking the virus seriously, says the ward councillor.
The four are among the 866 people who, as of Monday, have tested positive for the virus in the Western Cape.
According to Ward 104 councillor Lubabalo Makeleni, some of the people who tested positive in Dunoon work at the Shoprite in Bothasig. Earlier this month, this store was closed after an employee tested positive.
Last week, Checkers in Bayside Mall also closed for a few days because one employee tested positive.
In a statement, Shoprite said it closed the Bothasig store on Monday April 6 and the Bayside one was closed on Tuesday April 14.
But both have since reopened after consultation with the Western Cape Department of Health.
A Shoprite group statement said: “We brought in a professional decontamination company to sanitise and deep clean the store. We have informed the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and the Department of Health. Our mobile clinic was immediately dispatched to the store and all our employees were tested. Those who worked closely with this employee are now at home, in self-isolation for 14 days, and are monitoring themselves for any symptoms.”
According to Mr Makeleni, many in Dunoon still ignore the lockdown regulations, with people clustering on corners, roaming the streets or meeting to play cards or dominoes.
“People here don’t take this issue seriously. I have heard some speaking about being worried about the virus, but they do the opposite of what the government has asked of them. I think they will start taking it serious once a family member of theirs gets the virus.”
Resident Linda Bheka said serious illnesses were not a new thing in Dunoon.
“We have TB, people living with Aids, people with chest problems and may other illnesses. This coronavirus is just another one that people will get and that’s how I see it. If we are meant to get it, we will.”
But others, such as Thando Jikela, say it’s precisely because Dunoon has so many other illnesses that the community should be worried.
“The people walking around here are selfish. Everyone else is trying to stay safe by being at home and only going out when it’s necessary. But we still have those who continue to break the rules and put all of us in danger.”
Thandeka Jali said she was worried about the vulnerable people in Dunoon.
“Those that are walking around without a care in the world will spread the virus to the elderly, pregnant women, the disabled and children. Some still believe that this virus only affects white people, which is nonsense. I just want our people to realise how serious this is and keep themselves, and their loved ones, safe,” she said.
A Shoprite Bothasig employee – who, fearing victimisation, asked not to be named – said they had heard on Monday April 6 that a manager had tested positive.
“On Thursday April 9, we went into work where we did our screening and were later taken to Karl Bremer Hospital for testing. Up until today (Monday April 20), I haven’t heard anything about when we will get a call to get back to work,” the employee said.
Mr Makeleni said the four Dunoon residents who tested positive were in quarantine at a West Coast hotel.
“Their families were tested as well, and we await those results. For now, they should be self-isolating in their homes,” he said.