Concern about non-adherence to Covid-19 regulations after Rands, Cubaña visits
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Cape Town - Party-goers had an abrupt end to their Friday night celebrations after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize visited two popular bars while on an inspection visit to Cape Town.
Mkhize visited Rands in Khayelitsha and Cubaña in Green Point. His visit follows growing concern of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases reported mostly along the Garden Route and in the Cape Town metro.
Mkhize said there had “not been any improvement” following inspections. “It’s important that we give them notice. We have given them (Cubaña) notice of non-compliance, which is the first step to enforcement and if they don’t comply it means that they are exposing people and putting them at risk…He said no overcrowding should be permitted and he stressed that people should not let their guard down.
Mkhize’s visit came just after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape a coronavirus hot spot and implemented additional restrictions.
In his address, Ramaphosa said South Africa had recorded 4 400 cases on Wednesday, which was the biggest daily increase since August, while hospital admissions had also increased to more than 5 800 nationally.
Mkhize was accompanied by law enforcement officials and Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.
Mbombo told the Cape Argus on Sunday she was greatly concerned by non-adherence to regulations that were put in place to curb the infection rate.
“The City law enforcement officials conducted inspections at businesses along Bree and Long streets, where warning notices were issued for non-compliance.
“Follow-up visits will be conducted on weekends and those still found to be non-compliant will be fined. I call on businesses to evaluate their safety protocols to reduce the risk of infections occurring there. This includes ensuring that premises and venues are well ventilated, crowds are limited and hygiene protocols are in place,” she said.
Nightlife has been at the centre of attention in recent weeks as law enforcement prepares for a massive deployment of officials specifically targeting bars and entertainment venues.
Mkhize is expected to meet Ramaphosa to relay the information he has been able to gather about the state of the Garden Route and metro.
Mayco member for community and health services Zahid Badroodien joined the City’s Environmental Health Service on a series of Covid-19 compliance inspections in the CBD.
“Cape Town remains at alert level 1, but we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, given the continued increase in transmission rates in the metro.
“My observations from the recent excursions with Environmental Health is that we need to do a lot more to ensure that, as a city, we are able to slow the transmission of Covid-19. As the peak of the festive season draws closer, we will see an increase in people socialising and moving around – increasing the risk of exposure,” he said.