The North West Department of Health has noted with concern lack of understanding of the Province's position on self quarantine at home and mandatory quarantine in a state facility.
In the last address to the Nation, President Ramaphosa said, “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”. The Department's position on quarantine is based on this directive by the President.
The above statement by the President has provided two scenarios for quarantine being isolation at home which is self quarantine and added or “a place provided by government”. 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 misbehaviors they infect or transmit to others, this on its own is a criminal offense.
Yes and openly anyone who will be placed on 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 offense for these individuals who put others at the risk of infection by breaking the rules of self quarantine. There is therefore 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 SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) on quarantine and hospital isolation, the Department has added a requirement that any GP or 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 and then the MEC will send a team of clinical specialists to assess the place for self quarantine and then recommend to the MEC and with provision that any person who then breaks the rules of self quarantine will have the one who prescribed self quarantine held as an accomplice.
"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.
North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha has further emphasized that it is in the interest of all citizens of the North West Province and all South Africans that all necessary measures are applied consistent with the Law to stop further spread of Coronavirus.
Issued by: North West Health
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.