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Attacks on health staff continue <p>‘In recent weeks, City Health staff have been robbed at gun point and others threatened with death amid the continued theft and vandalism of equipment at facilities. Our staff are on the frontline of this pandemic and it is unacceptable that they face additional threats from the very communities they serve. Staff are doing what they can to monitor compliance with health protocols for everyone’s safety, but if they are not allowed to do this, we are heading for disaster in terms of infection figures,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.</p><p>Environmental health officers were accosted and one robbed of his cellphone in Crossroads two weeks ago after they completed a health and hygiene intervention in the community. On another occasion, staff on their way to the main building of the Nolungile Clinic in Khayelitsha were held at gunpoint and robbed of their personal belongings, including their cell phones. The attackers had gained access by jumping over the razor wire fence on the side of the building. </p><p>There is now additional security to ensure the safety of staff.</p><p>At Parkwood clinic, the motor from the facility’s Jojo tank was stolen. Children later played on the roof of the Lavender Hill clinic and tried to remove the cage that protects the extractor fan. Meanwhile, at Lentegeur, the Jojo tank pipes were stolen and the COVID-19 testing booth was vandalised and stripped of aluminium trimmings.</p><p>‘The money we spend on increased safety measures could have been used elsewhere. Criminals are taking more than just the possessions of hard working staff members, they are robbing entire communities of much needed facilities and infrastructure,’ said Councillor Badroodien.</p><p>In addition, unscrupulous scam artists continue to prey on shop owners who are told that if they do not make use of a specific sanitising service, the service providers will close down their business and they will not be able to operate.</p><p>‘These fake companies provide a document, which indicates that the premises has been disinfected/cleaned and give the store owner a compliance certificate valid for a month from the date of treatment. In some instances, they also insist that the shop owners purchase a special bleach from them, which should then be used for future disinfection purposes.</p><p>‘City Health wants to warn shop owners that it is not mandatory to use any sterilisation service. Surfaces can easily be disinfected with a solution of diluted household bleach. Regulations under the Disaster Risk Management Act do not make provision for premises to be closed down due to any perceived lack of sterilisation,’ said Councillor Badroodien.</p><p>Shop owners who have been scammed into paying for this service at threat of closure are encouraged to lay a complaint at their local South African Police Station.</p><p><strong>Fatality Management</strong></p><p>The past week has seen a marked decrease in the number of burials, with the busiest cemeteries being Maitland (125), Klip (56)and Welmoed (77).</p><p>To date an average of 17% of all cremations since December 2020, have been COVID-19 fatalities. In the month of February 2021, approximately 8% of all cremations per week at Maitland Crematorium have been COVID-19 related.</p><p>The crematorium still has to limit deliveries to the capacity of their storage and throughput, however it is now able to manage the situation more carefully due to increased capacity.</p><p>The general increase in demand for burials and cremations has also been reflected in the increase in burial services for destitute persons. </p><p>‘The increase in pauper and destitute burials is likely a reflection of the dire straits so many families find themselves in, so much so that they’re unable to bury a loved one. The City assists destitute families where they can,’ said Councillor Badroodien.</p><p>The City’s Policy on Burial or Cremation of Destitute Persons of 2014 is still in effect, and there are no new procedures that undertakers are required to adhere to, aside from National Regulations which require service providers in the funeral industry to take extra precautions in terms of PPE when collecting the deceased or managing a confirmed COVID-19 deceased person.</p><p>Following a natural death at home or in the community (not including hospital deaths); the next of kin of the deceased may apply for a destitute funeral with a choice of burial or cremation, subject to strict criteria including that:</p><ul><li>the deceased has no funeral policy, no insurance, no income greater than that of a SASSA pension/grant </li><li>that the applicant agrees to a weekday funeral and basic funeral services.</li></ul><p>For more information on applications for destitute persons, families can contact the nearest sub-council office or ward councillor; alternatively any queries can be sent to <a href="mailto:Cemetery.Administration@capetown.gov.za">Cemetery.Administration@capetown.gov.za</a>.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2021-02-15T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#5fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab;L0|#05fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab|Health;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb10

 

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