• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Buffalo City's Covid-19 update

East London remains the epi-center of the epidemic in Buffalo City Metro with a further jump in fatalities from 129 to 160 in the past week.

The Municipality reiterates its call to all people living or visiting Buffalo City to exercise extra caution as this is a Coronavirus highly infected area.

Umasipala uyaligxinisisa kwakhona ikhwelo lokuba wonke umhlali naye nabani na ondwendwela lo mmandla ahlale elumkile kuba lena yindawo egcwele intsholongwane ye-Corona.

Ward Based covid-19 task teams

As part of raising awareness, a Covid-19 Ward Based Rapid Response Task Team Implementation committee has been set up. The team is currently setting up ward-based structures.

10 wards with the highest number of Covid-19 cases have been identified by the Department of Health and consultations are underway with ward councillors and ward committees.

Two meetings took place last week in ward 46 and ward 22. More meetings are scheduled to be held.

The Municipality is also undertaking awareness campaigns updating community radio stations regularly, as well as on social media.

The Municipality commends the screening and testing activities conducted by the Department of Health as statistics reveal a huge jump from the tests conducted since the last report.

To date, the mass screening and testing teams have screened approximately 227 550, which is a jump from the 203 979 individuals that was last reported.

Up to 48 300 tests have been conducted as of 18 July, which is another significant jump from the 44 065 that was last reported.

In terms of isolation and quarantine sites, there are 13 quarantine sites that are actively admitting cases for quarantine. These exclude the quarantine sites provided for by the Municipality and the field hospital that is currently in preparation.

42 people were admitted in the Department of Health sites provided by the Department of Public Works as of 19 July 2020.

32 people are currently in isolation. 29 people were discharged from the sites as at 19 July 2020.

The turn around time for a post-mortem is 72 hours, depending on laboratory tests.

In terms of the distribution of cases based on age categories, special attention needs to be directed to the 50-59 years and above categories, as they are most likely to have COVID 19 fatalities. Diabetes, Hypertension, and also cardiac/heart problems are common co-morbidities in the deaths.

Staff interventions

The Municipality recorded 209 confirmed cases in its employment force with 120 recoveries and 8 fatalities. Thermal scanners for screening of every person that enters the buildings of BCMM is still ongoing. 3 Primary compliance officers have been appointed and 22 secondary compliance officers are representing various directorates. A total of 1576 staff has been screened by 20 July and this is ongoing.

450 employees were educated of COVID-19 in different departments. 1592 employees have been tested within the BCMM to date. As a measure to curb the transmission of Covid-19, staff has been provided with cleaning materials as well as sanitizers for the members of the public before and after using these Public Convenience Facilities.

PPE to staff has been distributed.

Safety and security

The Buffalo City Metro safety and security operations are being intensified to ensure that as a Coronavirus hotspot area, the City’s businesses adhere to lockdown regulations.

All Parlours were found to be compliant and funerals are being conducted with strict adherence to Covid-19 Guidelines and Directives.

Education and Decontamination of affected homes are also conducted, where necessary.

The Safety and Security cluster continues to inspect business in the City regarding compliance and assessments on Covid-19 Compliance to Temperature checks, Hand Sanitizing at entrances, Social Distancing, and Staff wearing Masks.

The Municipality’s Covid-19 Command Centre also received statistics from the Health and Public Safety workstream on the conducted operations by Law Enforcement, SAPS, Traffic and SANDF, District Health, Municipal Health Services, and Disaster Management & Fire and Rescue. The Command Centre notes with concern the rise in illegal connections and land invasions.

Water and sanitation

The Municipality is also mitigating on issues of water and sanitation has installed 31 water tanks in villages.

There are currently 13 water tankers delivering services to affected areas. Water quality monitoring continues in compliance with drinking water quality standards.

BCM completed the installation of 3 additional water points in Mdantsane ward 11; refurbished 4 standpipes and installed 3 more standpipes in Scenery Park informal settlements.

Distribution of soaps, PPE

The Municipality has distributed Gloves, Masks, Sanitizers, and Soaps to the Fynbos Phases 1&2 Evictees that are staying at the Billy Francis Hall on 07, 29 April, 12 May, and 07 July.

To date plus 40 000 bars of soap (1kg and 125g), have been distributed towards 1 to 7; 8 to 16; 17,19, 20-36,42, 46, 48 48 and these wards have large numbers of informal settlements and indigents.

The distributions of these soaps are anticipated to be completed at indigent wards before the end of July.

Human settlements

The Municipality is also advance in the implementation of temporary residential units for Duncan Village dwellers having implemented site establishment, boundary fencing, site clearance, and 48 top structures erected.

The other site at the Ziphunzana bypass is underway for the erection of temporary residential units.

Cleaning operations

The Buffalo City Metro cleaning operations are also conducted to ensure that the City promotes a clean and safe environment through various waste management activities.

The Municipality is also cleaning and disinfecting its public facilities daily. There has been no refuse removal backlog with refuse removal (businesses and households) covered all areas as per the collection schedule. Grass cutting and illegal dumps clearance is also ongoing.

The BCM Command Council took a decision to dig graves in all BCM villages in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Food security

The Municipality has also been making agricultural interventions towards food security. The following gardens have been supported with seedlings: Thembalabantu Cooperative (Zwelitsha), Othandwayo (Zwelitsha), Khoncoshe Good garden (Ncera), Tyusha youth project (KWT), Quzini community gardens, Zikhali agric project, Chankcele food gardens (Kuni), Sisonke cooperative (Pumlani), Phosi home gardens (Tsholomnqa) Scenery park backyard gardens, Masijongane food security project (Ndevana) and Ziphunzana home gardens. Informal trade hawkers stalls Traders who have been trading under unfavorable conditions in Zwelitsha and Phakamisa have been built hawker stalls and a car wash.

East London Airport The Municipality welcomes the opening of the East London Airport whose operations are expected to resume on Tuesday, 21 July. Port of East London

The Port has resumed full marine operations. 6 vessels are due to dock this week, including, containers, vehicles, livestock & petroleum. The Dry-Dock caisson gate has been installed and final testing underway. Official re-opening to take place this week.

Hotspot area

As more businesses begin to operate under Lockdown Level 3, we call on all them to exercise caution, ensure that staff and customers wear masks, that they screen everyone, and enforce social distance.

We further call on the people of Buffalo City not to compromise on their safety and alert law enforcement authorities whenever there are transgressions. For any Covid-19 related matters call the hotline on 0800 029 999, Say 'Hi' to WhatsApp 0600 123 456.


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