CHDM opens a case against a family for the contravention of the disaster management act

Statement by Chris Hani District Municipality mayor Wongama Gela

A case has been opened against family members who contravened Disaster Management Act Regulations. One suspect briefly appeared before the Lady Frere Magistrate Court recently following two arrests made by the South African Police Services.

The district reported last week on alleged assault of an official – Environmental Health Practitioner (EHP) – at a Funeral who was working in the Cacadu area at the time. In terms of the Environmental Health Guidelines for the Management of Human Remains in the context of Covid-19, Environmental Health has a key role to play in monitoring the management of human remains that dies of an infectious disease, including COVID-19.

The monitoring include providing guidance and advice to funeral undertakers on management of infectious human remains, inspection of premises where bodies are prepared, stored and disposed of. EHPs are responsible to monitor that precautions are undertaken to ensure that appropriate practices are used to prevent direct contact with infectious material.

The pace at which Covid-19 spreads requires all of us to adjust to the new way of life. We are deeply concerned by incidents like these and similar reports that are surfacing of refusal to comply by some families. We plead with our communities to adhere to the set regulations to avoid further infections and possible deaths. Let us do the right thing and save lives.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones to Covid-19. We also extend our sympathies to all those who have contracted the disease and their families as well wishing them speedy recovery.

CHDM has been hard at work since the pandemic closely monitoring COVID-19 funerals throughout the district. These efforts are continuing despite the encounter, to ensure compliance with set measures and to curb further infections. The affected official is currently receiving trauma counselling.

Issued by CHDM Communication

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