Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku. Photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso /African News Agency (ANA)
Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku. Photo: Bhekikhaya Mabaso /African News Agency (ANA)

Coronavirus: Gauteng health department goes to court to stop church gathering

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Mar 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Gauteng Department of Health has obtained an urgent court order to stop a church gathering in Katlehong. 

This comes after government publicised regulations this week which bar gatherings of more than 100 people in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

As of Friday, South Africa had more 202 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus, with more than half of them coming from Gauteng. 

SA INFECTIONS - 202

Gauteng - 109

Western Cape - 56

KZN -  24 

Free State - 7

Mpumalanga - 5

Limpopo - 1

Gauteng Health spokesperson Kwara Kekana said the court order obtained on Friday meant the department had successfully interdicted the church. 

“The church has been interdicted and restrained with immediate effect from convening a church service that is not in accordance with the gazetted regulations as released by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs,” said Kekana. 

She said the department had been made aware of concerns about the church gathering from members of the public. 

“The concerns surrounding the church gathering were brought to the attention of the Department by the community where the church is based. Non-compliance of the gazetted regulations can result in a fine or an arrest. 

“Mass gatherings expose people to great risk. The measures that have been announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa are put in place to help contain and prevent the further spread of Covid-19,” said Kekana. 

The department said they were appealing to people in the province to take the latest regulations seriously. 

Some of the regulations include: 

  • No visits to correctional service centres 

  • No gatherings above 100 

  • No gatherings at alcohol vendors above 50 

  • Liquor stores to operate between 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 1pm on public holidays and Sundays. 

  • Pubs, bars and alcohol serving restaurants to operate between 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 1pm on public holidays and Sundays.

  • Fake news is punishable by law.

  • Intentional contamination of the Covid-19 virus is punishable by law. 

IOL

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