A homeless person sifts through rubbish in the hope of finding something to eat. File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
A homeless person sifts through rubbish in the hope of finding something to eat. File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Vulnerable homeless to get temporary shelters during coronavirus lockdown

By Samkelo Mtshali Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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Durban - As part of his government's comprehensive lockdown of the country to combat the spread of Covid-19, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday night announced that temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people.

This comes as the country's confirmed cases of the CoronaVirus Sites spiked on Monday to 402 from 274 on Sunday. 

Following the postponement of his much-anticipated address on Sunday night, Ramaphosa finally addressed the nation and said that other sites were also being identified for quarantine and self-isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home.

The president's announcement comes amid fears that the virus could spiral out of control. 

All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers. 

Adding to some of the stringent measures that the government has taken in its fight against the spread of the virus, Ramaphosa said that companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies would remain open. 

"We will publish a full list of the categories of businesses that should remain open.

Companies whose operations require continuous processes such as furnaces, underground mine operations will be required to make arrangements for care and maintenance to avoid damage to their continuous operations.

"Firms that are able to continue their operations remotely should do so. Provision will be made for essential transport services to continue, including transport for essential staff and for patients who need to be managed elsewhere," said Ramaphosa.

Political Bureau

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