Locals lax as Covid crisis looms

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Mondli Mvambi

Now, with five Covid-19 hotspots, Mangaung Metro has become a hub for a rise in infections of the virus once again. This comes after the Free State was reported as one of three provinces that has seen a comeback of Covid-19 since the beginning of October.

According to Free State Health spokesperson, Mondli Mvambi, there are five areas in Bloemfontein that have reported an increase in infections, including Pellissier, Universitas, Heidedal, Bergman, Hillside View and Rocklands.

“Mangaung experienced an increase in the number of daily cases due to Covid-19 infections that took place at funerals, which then affected schools and households. Some of these were triggered by unprotected interactions in public transport such as taxis and buses.

Some people put on a mask as an entry compliance measure but take it off as soon as they are admitted into a taxi, bus or private car that offers hikes,” he said.

The department has observed growing indifference among members the public towards full adherence to health advice on prevention of infections since Lockdown Level 1 began.

“Some people use masks incorrectly, while others don’t use them at all, and the risk of exposure is high,” explained Mvambi.

“The department is also aware that there are many asymptomatic people who may unknowingly infect other unprotected people. That is the reason we insist that people must put on their masks when they are to interact with other people in every area of public life. You don’t know the Covid-19 status of people you come across, especially the ones who show no symptoms,” he added.

The spokesperson is concerned that a second wave of the virus may be around the corner despite the department’s efforts to encourage adherence to Covid-19 protocols.

“We are encountering people who are either Covid-19 ignorant or Covid-19 fatigued, while some are not honest and others don’t consistently apply prevention guidelines. This is despite multisector stakeholder campaigns to raise awareness and educate people about the importance of health non-pharmaceutical advice to the prevention of Covid-19,” Mvambi concluded.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele

nomaqhawe@mahareng.co.za