South Africa: Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain Residents Speak of Fears After COVID-19 Confirmations


The single reported case of Covid-19 in Khayelitsha has stirred up unimaginable fear in the area and holds serious ramifications for this high-density community buckling without proper sanitation or access to water.

The mounting fear in Khayelitsha followed confirmation by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday evening that South Africa's coronavirus cases had increased to 1,280. A woman in Cape Town was one of the first reported virus-related deaths and a 74-year-old man from Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal became the second fatality.

In neighbouring Mitchells Plain, five cases were reported, sending shockwaves and panic through this highly populated area. In both communities questions were raised about exposure to those who had tested positive.

The Western Cape, which recorded the first Covid-19 death in the country on Friday, 27 March 2020, has 310 Covid-19 infections. Gauteng continues to account for the most confirmed cases in the country with 584.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde conceded that physical distancing was impeded by families living in very close proximity in crowded townships where some households have as many as seven to 10 people living together.

A community leader in Khayelitsha, Fransina Lukas, said "it's very scary that one has been reported in the area" and...

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