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Source: South Africa News Agency

The North West Health Department has called on residents to obey the rules of self-quarantine to stop the further spread of the Coronavirus in the province.

“The province now has 15 confirmed cases. We cannot afford to have the numbers increase because of individuals who do not respect the rules of lockdown or regulations around quarantine,” said MEC Madoda Sambatha.

The provincial department said it noted with concern a lack of understanding of the province’s position on self-quarantine at home and mandatory quarantine in a state facility.

Based on the directive of President Cyril Ramaphosa, people who are infected with Coronavirus, but who have no or moderate symptoms will remain in isolation at home or at a place provided by government, and those with severe symptoms will be transferred to a hospital.

“It is equally important to also keep in mind the protection of those not sick from any possibility of being infected or getting transmission from people who knew they have tested positive but through their deliberate misbehaviours they infect or transmit to others, this on its own is a criminal offense.”

Anyone who is placed in self-quarantine and deliberately breaks the rules and procedures of self-quarantine will be tracked down and when found will forfeit the right to self-quarantine.

“By law we should be opening criminal offenses for these individuals who put others at the risk of infection by breaking the rules of self-quarantine,” said the MEC.

Sambatha emphasised the need to balance individual rights of people who deliberately break the law and endanger the lives of many innocent and healthy South Africans and strict rules meant to protect the majority of law abiding citizens.

In the new Standard Operating Procedure on quarantine and hospital isolation, the Health Department added a requirement that any general practitioner, private hospital or government hospital that prescribes self-quarantine at home must request permission from the MEC in writing with motivation on why self-quarantine.

The MEC will then send a team of clinical specialists to assess the place for self-quarantine and make recommendations to the MEC.  –

MIL OSI Africa