A temporary medical centre has been set up in Azaadville, West Rand, to deal with a recent COVID-19 spike in the area. [Image via News24]
As South Africa enters its third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the community of Azaadville has sprung into action once again with the opening of a temporary medical centre in the West Rand suburb.
Councillor Shabir Dhabelia, who is the councillor for Ward 3 in Mogale City, West Rand, was speaking to Salaamedia following a recent spike in cases of COVID-19 when he said that the community has come together to respond to the situation. “We don’t take things lightly,” he said.
With the assistance of volunteers from the community, members of the medical and religious fraternities swiftly set up a temporary medical centre over the weekend. Within 72 hours of opening, the makeshift facility catered for more than 100 patients.
“Our response was to put systems in place. We set up an emergency response and we got things more-or-less under control at the moment.”
Speaking about the municipal response to the crisis, Cllr. Dhabelia said that authorities have been working to implement measures to combat the spread of the virus and that “Azaadville is pretty much on top of things and so is Ward 3.”
On Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa indicated that the government is actively tracking the potential of a third COVID-19 wave in South Africa. However, no decision has been made regarding a harder lockdown.
“We are watching it very closely, and if (the third wave) comes, we are ready. The issue of a lockdown is something that will only be looked at depending on the severity of the third Covid-19 wave,” he said.
Over the weekend, social media was abuzz with rumors that an individual who was observing I’tikaaf at a local Mosque in Azaadville refused to leave following a test that indicated he had COVID-19. However, Cllr. Dhabelia said that “there is very little proof in terms of dynamics of where it started from” even after the rumors were investigated.
“Social media definitely blows things out of proportion,” he added.
Cllr. Dhabelia assured the community that authorities are constantly monitoring the situation and are in communication with the Department of Health’s tracing tems. For now, though, all seems to be in order. He said: “If there was anything untoward, we would have picked it up a long time ago.”
Julie Allie spoke to Cllr. Shabir Dhabelia on Salaamedia’s News & Views show. Listen to the full interview here: