South Africa-Health-Coronavirus

S/Africa sends coronavirus testing teams to Soweto – Official

APA-Johannesburg (South Africa)

The sprawling South African township of Alexandra on Tuesday came under siege from Gauteng Province’s health workers who kicked off a mass testing exercise for the coronavirus pandemic.

Located north of Johannesburg, Alexandra residents lined up in large numbers at designated areas to be tested for the pandemic, days ahead of the nationwide exercise for door-to-door testing that President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Monday night.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura, leading the mass testing drive in Alexandra, said the mass testing efforts were being conducted to prevent an outbreak of the disease which has no vaccine or proper medication.

In fact, the exercise kicked off soon after a confirmed case of the coronavirus, and the quarantine of nine other residents in Alexandra suspected to have the symptoms of disease, Makhura said.

Detailing the exercise, Gauteng Province’s Health Commissioner Bandile Masuku said 69 testing sites have been identified in Johannesburg and vulnerable areas are being targeted in the mass testing.

Alexandra is a vulnerable community, with people living in densely-populated informal settlements lacking so many socio-economic services, and where senior citizens have now become very anxious following the confirmed coronavirus case.

Meanwhile, the police and the army are patrolling different sections of Alexandra, urging residents to stay indoors.

According to reports, the majority of the township defied the first day of the 21-day lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus which has now claimed five lives.

NM/Dng/APA

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