Health Minister Zweli Mkhize Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/African News Agency (ANA)
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize Picture: Jonisayi Maromo/African News Agency (ANA)

Homeless, vulnerable must not be forgotten in fight against coronavirus, says Cosatu

By Bongani Hans Time of article published Mar 18, 2020

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Durban - The homeless must not be forgotten when it comes to implementation of preventative measures against the killer Covid-19 as they are also vulnerable and likely to be exposed to the virus, says Cosatu.  

The federation’s national leadership called on the government to open emergency shelters, which would provide resources to protect homeless from getting the virus.  

“The federation is concerned that many homeless people and poor families are left exposed to the elements during this period because of a lack of resources,” says Cosatu.

“How do we expect the homeless and vulnerable persons in overcrowded informal settlements to self-quarantine without intervention from the government? 

“The government at all levels must intervene and provide this necessary protection to the most vulnerable in our society.   

“We also encourage our business and our members to donate and contribute the necessary amenities to homeless shelters, churches and civil society organisations that take care of the most vulnerable people in our society."

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize had announced that the number of infected people had increased from 85 to 116 by Wednesday.

The federation’s KwaZulu-Natal leadership also called on employers to ensure a hygienic workplace environment for workers to be safe from infection, and that municipalities should also provide clear water for communities to wash their hands as required, said Cosatu in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Talking to Independent Media on Wednesday, Cosatu provincial secretary Edwin Mkhize said municipalities and government departments should ensure that municipalities provide maximum service delivery.

“They should make sure that waste removal is done without failure. 

“There must be cleaning of the townships and streams, but one very crucial point is the provision of water as poor communities must have water because you cannot talk cleanliness if you cannot address the issue of water and provision of sanitisers,” said Mkhize. 

Political Bureau

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