Field workers to conduct door-to-door COVID-19 screening as cases rise

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Around 10,000 field workers will be visiting homes in villages, towns and cities to screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says government will in the next coming days roll out a screening, testing, tracing and medical management programme. He says around 10,000 field workers will be visiting homes in villages, towns and cities to screen residents for COVID-19 symptoms.

“People with symptoms will be referred to local clinics or mobile clinics for testing. People who are infected with coronavirus, but who have no or moderate symptoms will remain in isolation at home or at a facility provided by government and those with severe symptoms will be transferred to hospitals,” says Ramaphosa. “Using mobile technology, an extensive tracing system will be rapidly deployed to trace those who have been in contact with confirmed coronavirus cases and to monitor the geographical location of new cases in real time.”

The announcement comes as the number of COVID-19 deaths in South Africa has risen to three while the number of infections has increased to 1326.

This was confirmed by President Ramaphosa in his address to the nation a short on Monday evening on the measures being taken to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa has the highest number of cases on the African continent. The President has reiterated his call for South Africans to abide by the regulations of the lockdown and stay at home.

Non-compliance to lockdown regulations

Some South Africans in areas including Alexandra have been defiant to the orders government has given during the national shutdown. Five people in quarantine in the high density township after coming into contact with a person infected with the coronavirus.

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, says 2000 people have been arrested across the country for non-compliance with the lockdown regulations since Friday.

Cele accompanied by his Deputy and National Police Commissioner visited different pension pay-points in the KwaMashu and Inanda townships, north of Durban.

Long queues and lack of social distancing were seen outside some collection points as thousands of beneficiaries flocked to collect their social grants.

Cele says police have been forced to ensure compliance.

Meanwhile, the South African Police Service says it is concerned about videos going viral of officers allegedly using excessive force on people who contravening the lockdown regulations.

National Police Spokesperson Vish Naidoo says although they still need to verify the authenticity of these videos, the alleged behaviour is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated or condoned.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has cautioned security forces to ensure the safety of South Africans and not cause harm to them. There have been reports of alleged brutality by some SANDF members who have been deployed to support police to manage the nationwide lockdown.

An Ekurhuleni Metro Police officer has also been arrested in Gauteng in connection with the alleged fatal shooting of a man at Vosloorus township on the East Rand.

“We have made it clear that the task of our security personnel is to support, to reassure and to comfort our people and to ensure that peace and order is maintained in our country. They know that they must act within the law at all times and that they must not cause harm to any of our people in any way whatsoever, all of us, South Africans, the 50 million of us.”

There are now 4871 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the African continent, with many countries imposing a range of prevention and containment measures against the spread of the pandemic.

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