Mpumalanga government has earmarked five nature reserves as quarantine sites to accommodate people who might need to be isolated as the COVID-19 cases surge in the country. Mass screenings for coronavirus are expected to take place soon in Mpumalanga.

In anticipation of the outcome of the screening, the provincial government identified Zithabiseng Resort, Manyeleti and SingiMvelo nature reserves as quarantine sites.

People who can’t self-isolate at home will be taken to the nature reserves to receive medical attention.

Tourism MEC Pat Ngomane visited one of the sites, the SongiMvelo Nature Reserve in Kromdraai, near Badplaas, to check on its readiness.

Ngomane is satisfied that the facility will be sanctuary for some during the fight against COVID-19.

“We have identified some areas, which we are going to use working hand in gloves with the Department of Health, where we are going to house people who are suspected, who will have the need to be quarantined. Any South African across the country is going to be allowed, as long the Department of Health is going to advice.”

The facilities are available for any person irrespective of the province they come from.

Mpumalanga Parks and Tourism Agency CEO Johannes Nobunga, who accompanied MEC Ngomane to SongiMvelo, says the five nature reserves will provide a total number of 675 beds.

“We have made provision for five of our facilities which is Andova Nature Reserves, Manyeleti Nature Reserves, SS Skhosana Nature Reserves, Kroomdrai Camp of SongiMvelo and Zithabiseni Resort. The reason why we made this provision for this areas as quarantine sites is because we know that, as a tourism industry, we would have to make a contribution that would ensure that the industry continues even after the coronavirus has come to pass. We all know that we are not providing accommodation for free in these facilities. We are having as MTPA but we think our contributions to greater society would ensure that with cost recovery, we would able to assist the province in realising the objective of ensuring that the coronavirus does not affect us negatively as a province and as a country.”

The mass screenings is expected to take place soon.

In the video below, Mpumalanga identifies nature reserves to use as quarantine sites for COVID-19: