Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, has announced strict measures as part of the drive to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak to the province. The ports of entry into the province, including its three harbours, will be strictly monitored.

Mabuyane says all three spheres of government are working endlessly to address the issue.

The Eastern Cape is yet to record an infection.

It’s all hands on deck as the province hopes to keep the virus out. But the risk remains extremely high. The government is also focussing on tightening security at all entry points to the province.

Premier Mabuyane says the province is ready to deal with this deadly virus.

“To ensure that we are tightening up our securities and screening processes in those ports, we would want to extend to airports as well to those who might be coming in to ensure that we are able to contain this as we can as a provincial government. We will continue to work with managers of our ports to ensure that all vessels coming to our province through ports are processed and tested for coronavirus,” says Mabuyane.

Mabuyane says that drought-stricken areas will also receive special attention. He says they are ready to quarantine those who might test positive to the virus.

“We are making it very clear that those who are found immediately … (if) they are found to be positive, they will be quarantined,” says Mabuyane.

Health MEC, Sindiswa Gomba says there is sufficient equipment to address this outbreak.

“In a sense, what we are putting up is roadblocks into the connection of the Eastern Cape and in those roadblocks, we want to mend them through a three-phased approach: police, traffics and SANDF. We have ports of entry that we have to look at. We do have ports in East London and Port Elizabeth … those areas have to have the kind of system where our people have to be tested (sic),” says Gomba.

Speaker of the Legislature, Helen Sauls-August says they have postponed a number of events, for at least a month that were set to take place.

“All the decisions that we have taken are but precautionary, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. And in here, in the legislature internally, the management of the institution met this morning with the executive of our internal union Nehawu to discuss with them ways and means of. We should be addressing our employees and making sure that the message goes out there and we, as an institution, are prepared to ensure that the environment is safe for our employees,” says Sauls-August.

The automotive sector and the provincial executive are to meet later this week to discuss measures to mitigate the effects of the virus. Vehicle manufacturers in the province have not been impacted yet by the effects of the virus and production continues, but all the manufacturers are keeping a close eye on local and global developments. The regional secretary for Numsa, Mzi Twani says workers are very concerned.

“For now, employers have been talking to our shop stewards … (they) have been confirming that production will run smoothly and that nothing will happen; no short time, no layoffs, but we are uncertain about how long will that last,” says Twani.

The government has also warned people about spreading and creating falsehoods regarding the virus.

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Copy of epidemic v pendamic by SABC Digital News