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Environmental Health leads City’s COVID-19 education and awareness efforts

The City’s Environmental Health Practitioners are working their way through informal settlements and workplaces, among others, to advance health and safety protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The City of Cape Town has ramped up its education and awareness initiatives in a bid to reduce the number of persons affected by COVID-19.

The Environmental Health Department is playing a key role in the City’s efforts.

Since the beginning of March, when the risk of COVID-19 became more apparent, Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) have distributed thousands of pamphlets and posters at shopping malls, supermarkets, food stores, spaza shops and informal food traders to raise awareness about COVID-19, and engaged communities about the importance of proper hand washing, social distancing, cough etiquette, cleaning, sanitising and continual disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

These efforts continue and are being escalated as the caseload in the metropole increases.

‘Our Environmental Health Practitioners are visiting communities daily to conduct outreach sessions and to engage residents about their role in limiting the spread of the virus. The sharing of information is critical to flattening the curve and we are focusing on the importance of proper handwashing, wearing a cloth mask at all times when outside, what symptoms to look out for and where to seek help if need be.

‘Environmental Health teams will also pay special attention to informal settlements across the city. This targeted approach will ensure that all vulnerable communities benefit from these education campaigns. Some notable areas include; Nyanga, Masiphumelele, Fezeka, Macassar, Mfuleni, Du Noon. The success of sharing information and tools in these communities is dependent on all community members supporting this campaign and further communicating this to other community members,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

In addition, Environmental Health Practitioners are also:

  • Collaborating with the Western Cape Health Department in the active tracing of close contacts of infected persons in order to identify the source of their infection and prevent further spread of the disease.
  • Addressing the importance of self-isolation, self-quarantine and waste management, as practices used to curb the further spread of the disease.
  • Engaging with funeral undertakers and healthcare facilities to ensure compliance in the handling of COVID-19 remains, as stipulated in national regulations.
  • Monitoring all food premises, facilities like old age homes, transport interchanges and shelters to ensure that these premises are complying with applicable legislative standards and that adequate arrangements are in place to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • ‘It is a well-known fact that prevention is better than cure and this has become even more important with the COVID-19 pandemic at hand. Workplaces have emerged as a real risk for the spread of the virus, and we call on establishments where trading is currently allowed to engage with our Environmental Health Practitioners for guidance or advice and to do everything in their ability to ensure the highest level of alert with regard to cleaning, disinfecting and social distancing,’ added Councillor Badroodien.

 

Source: City Of Cape Town

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