The City of Joburg has availed two clinics in each of its seven regions to screen patients for Covid-19 in case of a wider outbreak.
The municipality has also established a 24-hour Joint Operations Disaster Management Centre (JODMC) at Metro Centre to assist local residents with any emergencies during the country’s national state of disaster.
Amid reports by authorities that Johannesburg was the epicentre of the virus, the City has staffed the JODMC with healthcare professionals, officers from the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and personnel from Emergency Management Services (EMS).
The Executive Mayor, Cllr Geoff Makhubo ratified the decision to establish the JODMC in a bid to boost the City’s emergency preparedness and response measures to Covid-19, following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of a 21-day lockdown aimed at curbing the pandemic from transmitting further.
Niel Rooi, the centre’s spokesperson says it aims to relieve pressure from facilities run by the provincial and national governments in the next three weeks.
“We are also training our healthcare workers on Covid-19 to assist residents with education and contact tracing, focusing on high density and high risk areas. According to our statistics, Joburg is the epicentre of the virus, so we need to work really hard,” Rooi explains.
Further to response measures, Mayor Makhubo said the City had identified buildings to be used as isolation and quarantine centres. “These buildings are currently being assessed by healthcare professionals to see if they are suitable.”
Rooi says the City is working with external stakeholders to procure hand sanitizers, masks and soap to be used during the quarantine period. He’s appealed to the broader community to make donations to help the City acquire more materials.
“When we get these resources we want to donate them to old age homes and townships because most people who stay there are unemployed and unable to buy such things for themselves,” he adds.
A recent statement from the Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize reveals the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 to be just over 1 200 – a quarter of which are in Johannesburg – with two deaths already reported elsewhere.
According to Health authorities, people may acquire the Covid-19 virus within 14 days of acquired infection. Most common indicators of Covid -19 are fever, tiredness and a dry cough.
Residents of Joburg who wish to locate clinics made available for Covid-19 screening are urged to contact the City’s 24-hour Disaster Management Centre on 010 224 0932.