Liquor outlets, entertainment areas warned not to relax as Covid-19 cases rise in Tshwane
Pretoria - Liquor outlets and entertainment areas that encourage and endorse reckless behaviour should be punished for spreading the coronavirus as the second wave sets in.
This was the reaction of the Concerned Tshwane Liquor Traders Association after the City of Tshwane warned people and liquor traders not to relax, as the battle against the pandemic is yet to be won.
MMC for Health Sakkie Du Plooy issued a warning highlighting that statistics indicated a potential sharp rise in the number of active Covid-19 cases in the Tshwane area.
He said places where alcohol was consumed often provided super-spreading opportunities, because a single person could pass the virus on to more than eight people at one event.
Du Plooy warned that the uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus in Tshwane could lead to the national government imposing stricter lockdown measures, with obvious disastrous implications for the local economy.
This could include restrictions in restaurant trading hours, the introduction of earlier curfews, and limiting the number of people in certain establishments, which could lead to additional job losses and even force businesses to close down.
Current statistics in Tshwane indicate that the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases was 54 238 yesterday, of which 537 are active, with 1 184 deaths.
Although these numbers do not imply a spike in Covid-19 incidents, it remains a serious cause for concern, Du Ploy said.
He warned that as soon as people become relaxed they do not wear masks, adhere to social distancing or maintain the required hygiene measures. The coronavirus is easily spread through tiny saliva particles and fast, due to the closeness of people at these events.
“This was evidenced at various recent Rage events for matrics, such as the one held in Ballito in KwaZulu-Natal, where many were found to be infected and must now spend time in quarantine.
“There is concern nationally that the youth, especially, can act as carriers and spreaders of the virus. Many of them finish school or studies at tertiary institutions and feel the need to celebrate at places where there are large gatherings of people.
“In many instances these youngsters are asymptomatic and do not even know that they carry the virus, but then infect their parents, grandparents and friends who might be vulnerable to this disease.”
Tshwane hotspots include areas such as Hatfield, Muckleneuk, Brooklyn, Elandspoort, Danville, Proclamation Hill, Kwaggasrand, Lynnwood Manor, Lynnwood Glen, Menlyn and Newlands.
President of the liquor traders association Oupa Mthombeni has endorsed the call by the government to be strict, as members of his association have been going door to door creating awareness and encouraging other liquor traders to comply and put the safety of the people first.
The Tshwane Metro Police Department said they would be working closely with other law enforcement bodies to ensure that individuals, businesses and other entities complied with the safety regulations.