Statement by RNM Chief Whip Selvan Chetty on Covid-19

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Over the past few weeks we have been reading about this very rapidly spreading COVID19  or Corona Virus mostly in other countries.  This virus is now among us in our own country and yes right here in our district and within our very own communities on the South Coast.

Our government has taken decisive steps to deal with the crisis to help minimise the spread. For these measures to be effective we must all do our part.

Right now, we must cooperate with our health and medical officials by taking heed of their advices on the do’s and dont’s.  The 21 day lockdown is necessary to prevent you and I from contracting and spreading this deadly virus.  It worries me that some within our society are behaving in a reckless manner by endangering themselves and others by not following and observing the strict protocols set by our government and health authorities.

I am appealing to all our community members to please act responsibly by making sure that we keep updated on the latest information from credible sources. The safest place to be right now is at your home.  Avoid public places and make only urgent and necessary trips as is allowed in terms of the regulations publicized.

Stop spreading fake news.  It is not helpful in a time of crisis. Only information from the Department of Health, authorized National, Provincial and Local government communications and its partners must be trusted.

Now is a time to act responsibly, by caring for ourselves, our families and those in distress. Let us also keep an eye on and look after the elderly especially those who may be living alone and there are many such elders within our community.  To be safe alert your local authority or Health care facility of any senior citizen who may be alone and in need of support and health care.

At this time of crisis, we must rally together and find ways to support each other without endangering ourselves and those we intend to assist. Seek guidance from the local Joint Operations Centres and  designated Health  professionals before undertaking any activity of support to others .

I am concerned about those who are doing what is called “panic buying”.  One person buying all the sanitizers, medicines and soaps is not going to be helpful.  To stop this Virus from spreading everybody will need to be having access to these products.  A few wealthy people clearing the shelves is selfish at best and dangerous to society at worst. Poor people get sick too, and indeed they are more vulnerable at this time.  It is important that we all act responsibly by not buying more products than is needed to last a month or so.

I call on all retailers not to inflate prices unreasonably. It is morally, ethically and legally wrong. Assist us in this battle by limiting purchases of essential items so that more people can have access to same.

We must salute our men and women who are risking their lives to save ours. Please let us help them by staying home and adhering to the lockdown advices.

Working together we can get through this crisis.

Selvan Chetty

Chief Whip

Ray Nkonyeni Municipality

“Selvan Chetty is a human rights activist and Chief Whip of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality”

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