South Africa

'You don't have to disclose a lot of information': Kubayi urges looters to get tested for Covid-19

'You don't have to disclose a lot of information': Kubayi urges looters to get tested for Covid-19

Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi has called on those who participated in the unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng to get tested for Covid-19.

Kubayi made the call on Tuesday at the launch of the vaccination programme for correctional services officials and inmates.

The vaccination rollout for officials and inmates is under way in SA's prisons.

Inmates will receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine provided by the health department.

Making her plea, Kubayi said those who participated in the looting don't have to disclose too much information about themselves.

“I know some of them are scared that they will be arrested as they get to the facilities, but from a health point of view, we really urge them to come,” said Kubayi.

“We have an obligation as health professionals to say that when they arrive, they don't have to disclose a lot of information about themselves, because we want to test them.”

She said if anyone who participated in the looting came down with symptoms or a headache, they should not stay at home because they risked infecting others.

“Can you kindly present yourself and go and test because we are worried about the impact the people who were in the protest will have on their communities, as they interact with their families and community members.

“So that's my plea to them, to say please present yourself. We want to make sure that you are tested,” said Kubayi.

Earlier this month, Kubayi expressed concern that the gathering at former president Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal could become a super spreader of Covid-19.

On social media, she said the mass gathering of people, from different parts of the country, could lead to a rise in infections.

“I shudder to think of the after-effect of the Nkandla gathering with the current variant. After the Pretoria march, court protest in Johannesburg and marches in Soweto, we saw numbers surge to above 26,000 last night,” she said at the time.