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Tongaat businessman says Covid-19 positive son was not reckless

Vawdas Curtaining and Interiors in Tongaat.

Vawdas Curtaining and Interiors in Tongaat.

Published Apr 10, 2020


Durban - ASLAM Vawda, the owner of Vawdas Curtaining and Interiors, has tested positive for Covid-19, but according to his son, Ridwaan, it was not because he behaved recklessly.

“It could have happened while he was at the store getting groceries or while he was walking next to an infected person,” said Ridwaan.

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“We just don’t know how, and it was by no means of any reckless behaviour on our part. From the day the first case was announced in the country, we have taken it very seriously.”

Aslam Vawda is based at the curtaining factory in Verulam. He also owns the interior showroom in Springfield Park and an express store in Tongaat.

Ridwaan said his dad became ill two days after the lockdown.

“He displayed mild symptoms of the common cold, like headache, fever and body pains. Just to make sure, we wanted to get him tested.

“We first took him to a hospital in uMhlanga, which was not of much help. We then took him to our local GP, who conducted the test for the virus. On the Tuesday, we received the results which were positive.”

Ridwaan said his father was immediately placed in self-isolation at his home in Verulam.

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He was quarantined in a room of the house, which he lived in with his wife and children.

“After the second or third day of self-quarantine, his symptoms began to dissipate. He is currently on lots of vitamins to boost his immune system as well as an antibiotic prescribed by the doctor.”

He said information circulating on social media that their staff and family members also contracted the virus were untrue.

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Ridwaan said close family were tested, and the results were negative.

“We also called our 80 employees and clients to notify them of the situation and to enquire if any of them displayed any symptoms. So far, no one has shown any.”

He said he asked the staff to call him should they have any concerns.

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Ridwaan said they were in the retail industry, which required interaction with clients and customers.

“We understood the risk involved and ensured our staff exercised extreme caution. We encouraged staff to keep themselves healthy and to always sanitise.”

Johnson Chetty, the ward councillor for the area, said he was aware of information on social media that prominent business people in Verulam tested positive for the virus.

But he said it was a case of exaggeration and people were creating unnecessary panic.

Chetty said despite the rise in the infection rate and the growing number of deaths countrywide, many Verulam residents were not taking the lockdown seriously.

“On Monday, I drove through the suburbs and the Verulam CBD, and it’s frightening to see people still walking around aimlessly without protective gear. People are drinking beer and playing cards on the side of the road.

“No one seems to care, and no one seems to understand the gravity of the situation.”

He continued: “The law enforcement agencies of Saps, Metro and the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) cannot be expected to patrol and be everywhere. It is the responsibility of people to practise social distancing and take all necessary precautions.”

At the weekend, the SANDF held a roadblock in the suburb to monitor if residents were complying with the shutdown.

Johnson said 45 people were arrested for contravening the lockdown.


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