Media statement on the North West Provincial Government’s state of readiness to combat and manage covid-19

Media statement on the North West Provincial Government’s state of readiness to combat and manage covid-19
Friday, 20 March 2020

Ladies and gentlemen of the media,
Good afternoon and thank you for honouring our invite this late in the day.
Two days ago, we called you here to outline our State of Readiness as a Province in response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus.

We have indeed made considerable progress since Wednesday as we have now managed to adopt and submit our Provincial Disaster Management Plan and Provincial Disaster Budget to the National Disaster Management Centre.

Our Provincial Disaster Management Centre is now running at full steam and we are continuously monitoring the four operational land ports of entry where our health workers are working tirelessly to screen everyone who leaves and enters the country.

Those ports are Ramatlabama outside Mahikeng, Swartkoppie, Kopfontein and Skilpadhek; all the other three being in Ramotshere Moiloa.

In line with good practice at national level, I have appointed the following MECs to constitute a Task Team to manage our COVID-19 preventative measures on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute basis with immediate effect:

MEC for Health, Hon Madoda Sambatha as Convenor
MEC for Provincial Treasury, Hon Motlalepula Rosho; who is also the
Leader of Government Business
MEC for Education, Hon Maphefo Matsemela
MEC for Social Development, Hon Boitumelo Moiloa
MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Hon Sello Lehari
MEC for Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, Hon Gordon Kegakilwe

I am of the firm belief that this Task Team will execute its mandate with the necessary diigence in this very difficult time.

We have already delivered the Task Team’s Terms of Reference and all the Task Team members are well acquianted with those.

We are also in the process of finalising the creation of social mobilization web application – commonly referred to as an App in ICT parlance – which will be free for the public to dowload from either the Apple Store, Google Store or Android Store and will have little effect on data when used.

We are collaborating with Office of the Premier in Gauteng on this Geographic Information System (GIS) app; we have made the app available to them as well as we agree with the President that this is a period that calls for all to put collectively work together to fight the spread of COVID-19.

Re le puso, re ntse re amogela dikopo le matshwenyego go tswa go baagi, ba batla go itse gore ba dire jang mabapi le diphitlho, manyalo, meletlo ka gonne President Cyril Ramaphosa itsisitse gore dikopano di nne le batho bao ba sa feteng lekgolo.

Go nnile matshwanedi gore re tsibogele matshwenyego a baagi ka gonne re le puso e e maikarabelo ebile kgathalela boitekanelo jwa baagi
ka kakaretso.

Ke ka moo re ne ra bona go tshwanela gore re tle ka papetlana ya ditaelo tse di tla thusang ka tsamaiso ya diphitlho, manyalo le meletlo e e farologaneng mo pakeng eno ya go lwantsha le go thibela mogare ono wa COVID-19.

The purpose of this standard operating procedure is to provide for:
– The procedures to be followed in the management of social gatherings as public health response to curb the spread of Novel Corona Virus (COVD 19) in the North West Province
– Improved hygiene control and disinfection of facilities on social gatherings
– Implementation of tracking, tracing and monitoring of suspects

The standards operating procedure is applicable to all social gatherings in the North West Province;
– Applies to all communities of North West Province
– Applies to all Government Departments
– Applies to all Non-Governmental Organisations
– Applies to all traditional, socio cultural and religious groups
– Applies to all hospitality and events management groups
– All sporting and recreational codes
– Any other that assembles people

Jaaka re semeletse go lwantsha le go fokotsa go anama ga COVID-19, maikaelelo a papetlana eno ya ditaelo e tsenngwa mo tirisong go leka go;
– Go fokotsa kopano le kgotlagano ya baagi
– Go kgaotsa go anama ga tshwaetsego le tshwaetsano ya COVID- 19
– Go netefatsa gore go nna le sekgala se amogelesang mo gare ga batho

Gatherings in public or private spaces have a potential of risk associated with the spread of COVID-19. It is therefore important to observe the following guidelines:
– Mass gatherings are prohibited with a view to curb the spread of COVID-19. This extends to all such gatherings like memorial services, funerals, weddings, concerts,etc.
– People in attendance should not exceed 100
– Any person organizing a funeral, a wedding or any gathering with effect from this week until when the Disaster declaration is reviewed must report to ward councilor, community health worker,
Social Workers, clinic committee or hospital board and Community Development Workers 3 -14 days prior to the event.
– There should be proper recording of attendees (Attendance register) and submitted within three days to the same authority as above.
– It is advisable that events should take place in open spaces.
– If the event is going be in a close environment, proper ventilation should be maintained i.e. open windows, doors or use of air conditioning.
– People should sit or stand at not less than 2 meters apart in the gathering.
– Regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces should be done prior and post gatherings.
– Good personal hygiene and hand washing (under running water) practices should be adhered to.
– Those digging and filling up the graves should wear and not exchange gloves
– Avoid physical contact and handshaking or hugging.
– Organizers should ensure availability of sufficient sanitizers and utilization by all attendees.
– All sick people should stay away from major events.
– Be vigilant to identify visibly sick attendees and separate from the rest of the people.
– If the visibly sick attendee cannot be separated due to pressing circumstances, that person should cover mouth and nose with a tissue or a piece of cloth.
– The organizer of each event should let all potential persons declare their travel history.
– Keep all bathrooms clean and disinfected.

Registers and reports on all social gatherings will be submitted to the Municipality and Tribal Authorities. Community Safety Office will collate and forward to the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit in the Office of the Premier.

The Provincial Command Centre will monitor implementation of Social Gathering Standard Operation Procedures as adopted by the North West Provincial Government.

We are calling upon all affected liquor outlets and restaurants to assist our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to the restrictions as outlined in the Disaster Management Act of 2002, Section 27 (2), Subsection 8(1) and the Government Directive of 18 March 2020, which gives effect to the following and states that;
– All liquor outlets and shebeens to close by 6pm on weekdays and Saturdays
– All liquor trading on Sundays can only be until 1pm
– No gathering of more than 50 people at those identified outlets

Baagi ba itsisiwe gore malawana eno e setse e tsentswe mo tirisong go fitlha kgwedi ya Moranang e tlhola malatsi a le lesome-le-botlhano monongwaga; mme ebile go na le kgonagalo ya go letlha leno le ka atolosiwa.
Ga o ka fitlhelwa o tlola taelo e jaaka modirisi kgotsa rrakgwebo, o ka bonwa molato mme wa lelelwa ke ditshipi kgotsa wa atlholwa tuelo ya madi go ya ka kgotla-tshekelo.

Your cooperation as outlets in preventing COVID-19 and compliance with published regulations will be very much appreciated.

Bagaetsho, re a itse gore go ka fa molaong gore puso e letlelele badiri bao ba ka tswang ba sa tsoga sentle; mme go na le kgonagalo ya gore ba ka tshwaetsega gore ba dire go tswa ko malapeng a bona. Re tsweletse go ela maemo tlhoko mme fa go tlhokagala gore bangwe ba letlelelwe go dira ba le kwa lapeng, re tla dira jalo; mme fela re tla nna le dikgato tse re tla di lebelelang pele ga re tsaya ditshwetso.

Instead of granting some sort of blanket permission for employees to work from home, the Provincal Disaster Command Centre; which is chaired by the Premier, will should task each MEC through their Heads of Departments and Administrators to;
• Do a careful space planning assessment of where employees are working and in relation to social distancing make recommendations which categories of employees should work offsite.
• Conisder those employees who are susceptible in termsof risk factors when making recommendations
• The aforesaid recommendations should be informed by;
o those who are not in need of constant supervision in line with their job descriptions, and
o the reduction of the impact caused by non-availability in respect of customers who prefer contact sessions to address issues they raise

We still urge you to do the following to curb the spread of COVID-19;
– When coughing or sneezing cover mouth or nose with flexed elbow or tissue
– Throw tissue in closed bin immediately after use
– Clean hands with alcohol based hand rub or soap and water after coughing or sneezing and when caring for the sick
– Avoid close contact when you are experiencing cough and fever
– Avoid spitting in public
– If you have fever, cough and difficulty in breathing seek medical care early and share previous travel history with your healthcare provider

I thank you.
Issued by:
Office of the Premier
North West Provincial Government
Vuyisile Ngesi
061 056 3623