Eastern Cape Government’s statement about the new five people who tested positive for corona, and plans about payment of social grants today

The Office of the Premier 

Eastern Cape Province 

The Eastern Cape Provincial government notes the results of the new five people in the province who tested positive for COVID19.

All the new five people who tested positive for COVID19 have mild symptoms of coronavirus and have been isolated in their homes by their doctors. Isolation of people who have mild symptoms of covid19 is in line with the coronavirus treatment protocols.

Out of 77 people that were tested in the province, 10 people have been confirmed positive for coronavirus. As of Saturday, there were five new cases from the following districts: three of these people from the Sarah Baartman District, one from Nelson Mandela Bay Metro and one from the Chris Hani District Municipality area.

The provincial government is working with all the five people to ensure that they take their treatment as prescribed by their Doctors, they adhere to the treatment protocols including requirements of isolation in their homes. They are not allowed to go outside their homes during the period of isolation.

All five individuals have been isolated in their homes after results of their tests came back positive.

Three of the five people who tested positive had a history of international travelling while two of them were travelling locally. The Eastern Cape Provincial Government is now tracing people that came into contact with these five individuals to conduct further tests to ensure there was no transmission of the virus.

In this group, three people are between the ages of 25 and 26, one person is over 60 and the other over 40 years-of-age. In order to protect patient confidentiality, the government will not be able to provide further personal details of these five individuals.

PAYMENT OF SOCIAL GRANTS IN THE PROVINCE

Today the government will pay old age and disability grants to beneficiaries, with payment of other grants being done on April 1. The reason for this is to ensure the numbers of beneficiaries at the South African Post Office outlets, merchants and ATMs are significantly reduced and manageable.

“We encourage all the elderly people not to go to towns today to withdraw their social grants money,” said Department of Health Spokesperson Judy Ngoloyi. “Those that might be in a hurry to get the money are encouraged to send their children to withdraw the money.

“The main reason for us to make this request is that having old people congregating into these pay points will increase chances of transmission of the virus and put their lives at risk because old people are most susceptible to the virus. This decision was taken to protect the lives of elderly people. Their money is available and the government will make means for them to access their monies in a safe environment.”

The payment of grants will be done within the regulations of the nationwide lockdown and the health precautions announced by the department of health.

The department of Social Development, working together with the Department of Health, will ensure that the necessary health standards are maintained in all the pay points during the payment of social grants.

TRANSPORTING GRANT RECIPIENTS 

Special attention will be paid to the SASSA pay points as high numbers of people, largely elderly people and people living with disabilities will be in the CBDs to receive their social grants and do some shopping. Government is mindful of the fact that some of them are accompanied by a relative for this exercise.

“While we welcome the decision made by Minister of Transport to relax operating hours of buses and taxis will be permitting them to operate from 05:00 until 20:00 in order to cater to the transportation needs of society’s most vulnerable effective from tomorrow, 30 March 2020 until Friday, 3 April 2020, we still call on the elderly not to go to towns to withdraw their social grants because they are most susceptible to the virus.

“We urge all grant recipients to comply with the regulations such as carrying their Identity Documents and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) cards when travelling on public transport, to assist law enforcement efforts,” said the premier’s spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha.

“Government urges people to continue respecting the laws, regulations and restrictions in place even during that period to curb the transmission of Covid-19. Social distancing is one of the things we should not compromise on, from the number of passengers in a vehicle to the queues while waiting to get their social grants. Our law enforcement officers will be on the ground to enforce the regulations of the lockdown and act against those violating these regulations.

“Once again, we urge Eastern Cape communities to continue obeying the lockdown regulations as prescribed by President Cyril Ramaphosa. We also send a stern warning to those that derive pleasure in spreading fake news about this virus. It is in the best interest for all of us to stay away from such behaviour because it is causes unnecessary panic and chaos in our communities.

For more information, please contact:

Department of Health Spokesperson: Judy Ngoloyi – 060-564-5389

Social Development Spokesperson: Lufefe Mkutu – 066-287-6672

Department of Transport Spokesperson: Unathi Binqose – 060-978-6929

Premier’s Spokesperson: Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha – 082-955-8833

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