The increase of Covid-19 infections among workers in sectors providing essential services during the nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus is a concern on densely populated communities
Mkhize was addressing a joint meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Health and the Select Committee on Health and Social Services.
The increase of Covid-19 infections among workers is a concern and minister said that cluster outbreaks of the virus in these essential workplaces necessitates a new approach to the containment of infections.
Commenting on the easing of lockdown restrictions to Level 4 on May 1, Mkhize cautioned that permitted businesses in some areas may be forced to shut down again if the virus transmission rate in those regions are found to be particularly high.
“There will be areas where the lockdown may have been lifted, but in this particular area it may not be helpful to do so,” Mkhize said.
He made the example of a number of Shoprite stores in Cape Town which were temporarily closed due to concerns around the virus.
The minister also explained that people living in densely populated communities and informal settlements may be temporarily moved to quarantine sites to prevent them possibly infecting more people.
In particular, densely populated communities will be difficult to deal with because of the numbers of people who can be exposed through one person. In particular, isolation, treatment at home and quarantine becomes more difficult.
“So we have had to bring in the aspect quarantine sites where people can be quarantined outside their communities,” Mkhize said.
Mkhize said changes in the virus outbreak are being observed on a daily basis.
He said that currently, social gatherings like funerals and densely populated areas like correctional facilities were where the bulk of the new infections were coming from.