Health workers hard at work in Stjwetla in Alexandra, Johannesburg, testing people in the area where a man tested positive for coronavirus and did not isolate himself. Picture: THULANI MBELE
Health workers hard at work in Stjwetla in Alexandra, Johannesburg, testing people in the area where a man tested positive for coronavirus and did not isolate himself. Picture: THULANI MBELE

SA is into its second week of the 21-day national lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, with a screening and testing drive set to intensify.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on March 30 that a 10,000-strong force of field workers would be deployed to visit homes across the country to screen people for symptoms of the virus. The fight against the highly contagious disease has also seen the introduction of mobile technology to track and trace the contacts of those found to be positive.

The coronavirus has caused panic and fear across the globe and brought many economies to a standstill.

Government briefings on the lockdown and the number of people infected are expected throughout the week.

On Monday, the minister of agriculture, land reform & rural development, Thoko Didiza, will provide details about the R1.2bn Covid-19 disaster fund to be set up for the agricultural sector.

There is still concern that many people, especially in townships, are ignoring the lockdown regulations and not adhering to the social distancing requirements.

It was confirmed last week that the virus had already hit densely populated townships such as Alexandra in Johannesburg and Khayelitsha in Cape Town. 

The Sunday Times reported that plans were under way in several provinces to relocate tens of thousands of residents in densely populated areas in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. 

The department of human settlements told the newspaper that the plan to decrease the headcount in 29 critically overcrowded informal settlements across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape was at an advanced stage.

The department of public enterprises is this week expected to make a decision on whether it will oppose the SA Express business rescue practitioners’ application to have the ailing airline liquidated.

Business rescue practitioners Phahlani Mkhombo and Daniel Terblanche lodged an application in the high court in Pretoria on March 25, asking that SA Express be placed into provisional liquidation. They also asked the court that the business rescue process be stopped.

SA Express, which went into business rescue in February, has stopped all operations since the national lockdown.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za 

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