Physical distancing goes out the window at the Bothasig clinic when it rains as people queuing outside for check-ups and medication huddle under the only shelter – an overhanging roof.
Bothasig Ratepayers’ Association (BRA) chairman Derek Serra is appealing to the public to donate gazebos or any other form of shelter that can be used outside the clinic during winter.
The elderly and frail who cannot run quickly to cover often end up drenched, he says.
The clinic’s waiting room can usually accommodate all daily visitors, but because of physical-distancing regulations, more than 40 people frequently have to queue outside.
Mr Serra visited the clinic last week, when he accompanied his 94-year-old father to get his Covid-19 vaccine jab.
He said that while waiting for his father to be assisted there was a heavy downpour and people shoved each other in the rush for shelter.
He said clinic management had told him the provincial Department of Health did not have money to put up a shelter.
Mr Serra said the department should have been ready for this year’s rainy season because the clinic had had the same problem last year until the Gift of the Givers Foundation had lent a tent to the clinic for three months.
The founder of the non-profit, Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, said Dr Jana Rust at Bothasig clinic had approached them for a tent to provide shelter during the first wave of the pandemic for people who needed to be screened. The tent had been returned once patient numbers had dropped.
“The tent had been rented from a company we work closely with so when we returned the tent we saved on costs. The clinic has not approached us for help again,” he said.
Mr Serra suggested that companies that used gazebos and awnings for advertising purposes could set them up at the clinic. Call Mr Serra at 082 554 4315 if you would like to help.
The provincial Department of Health did not respond to questions by the time of publication.