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​​​​The Executive Mayor, Cllr Geoff Makhubo has assured residents that test kits used to screen for Covid-19 symptoms in the City’s clinics are safe and not contaminated.

This comes after misleading reports circulated on various social media networks, telling people not to screen for Covid-19 because test kits used in the country were infected.

During an oversight visit at Rex Clinic in Roodepoort on Tuesday, 7 April, the Mayor urged all symptomatic residents to continue screening for the virus in any of the health centres the City has provided in each region.

The City has earmarked at least two clinics in each of the seven regions to screen for the widespread Covid-19 pandemic, after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day national lockdown in an effort to curb the impact of the virus.

“I would like to urge all residents to stay at home, it is in your best interest and health. Let’s work together to flatten the curve,” Cllr Makhubo said.

The Mayor was accompanied by the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Cllr Eunice Mgcina and the MMC for Public Safety, Cllr Mally Mokoena.

Makhubo’s oversight visit was designed to check progress made so far in the City’s efforts to screen as many residents as possible for Covid-19 symptoms. The Mayor also used the opportunity to check the availability of testing kits, personal protective equipment, and ensure adherence to health standards as per Covid-19 regulations outlined by the national government.

Joburg residents who wish to locate clinics made available in their region for screening or who are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms such as a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, or fatigue are urged to contact the City’s 24-hour Joint Operational Centre on 010 224 0932.

Since Ramaphosa announced the 21-day national lockdown a week ago, several people have been arrested and charged for spreading fake news on social networks. The sharing of misleading information or fake news on social networks contravenes the Disaster Management Act, which governs the 21-day lockdown. Culprits face up to six months imprisonment or a fine or both.

Written by Takalani Sioga