EThekwini Municipality has put tough measures in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in its public spaces and facilities, following the announcement of the National State of Disaster by president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize warned on Thursday that the number of South African coronavirus cases will likely surpass 200 on Friday (20 March).
He said that between 60% and 70% of South Africans are likely to contract the virus; however, only about 20% will be seriously ill.
Global cases of coronavirus have reached 245,749, with deaths passing the 10,000 mark (10,036). 88,441 have recovered, but 147,262 remain active, with 7,378 in critical condition. There are currently 150 confirmed cases in South Africa.
EThekwini Municipality Mayor, Cllr Mxolisi Kaunda has issued a directive that restrictions must be imposed in the following public facilities:
- Swimming pools – all swimming pools will be closed effective immediately for the duration of schooling break and will reopen after Easter.
- Beach Bathing – bathing in all beaches is now prohibited with immediate effect; however, lifeguards will remain on duty to monitor and ensure safety. Law enforcement will be engaged to monitor those that do not adhere to these measures. The municipality would like to emphasise that beaches are not closed but only swimming is prohibited.
- Libraries – All municipal libraries will be closed but the staff will be at work.
- Community Halls – all functions will be limited to grouping of less than 100 as per the directive of the Head of State President Cyril Ramaphosa. Events previously planned where more than 100 people were expected have been cancelled.
- Cemeteries – during funerals, community is encouraged to limit the number of mourners to family members only or to restrict the mourners to not more than 50 at the cemetery. Mourners should keep to burial time slots allocated to prevent delays in accessing the cemetery.
- Museums– All museums will be closed to the public, but the staff will be at work.
- Durban Art Gallery – number of visitors will be restricted to less than 50 at a time, school bookings will be restricted and only open after the Easter Holiday.
- Arts & Living Cultures – all events, cultural or departmental programmes are cancelled indefinitely.
- Parks – Access to parks will be monitored. Weddings and social gatherings are now suspended indefinitely.
EThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda, has ordered the city management team to be vigilant and ensure that safety measures, including but not limited to hand sanitizer, wet wipes, continuous cleaning of public spaces and educating of public continues in Municipal facilities.