NEHAWU Western Cape condemns the new testing criteria introduced in the Cape Metro

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in the Western Cape condemns the new testing criteria announced by Western Cape provincial government for the Cape Metro.

Based on the new criteria people will only be tested if they are already in hospital, if they are above the age of 55, those with co-morbidities, and those in old age homes. As NEHAWU in the province, we believe that this new criteria will not help in combating the spread of the corona virus in the province. We strongly believe that the province should be embarking on an aggressive screening and testing campaign instead of limiting the number of people who are screened and tested on a daily basis.

The announcement of this new testing criteria buttresses our long held view that the health department under the stewardship of MEC Nomafrench Mbombo doesn’t have a plan to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the province. Moreover, it is the working class and the poor that will be disadvantaged because they do not have funds to get tested in private laboratories when they suspect that they may have contracted the virus or when they have symptoms.

The corona virus continues to spread rapidly in the province with more than 23 568 confirmed cases and 562 deaths. However, we believe these numbers are not a true reflection of the numbers of infected people and mortalities and the abrupt suspension of testing with conceal the true extent of the problem. The MEC on the other hand is parading around like a mascot with no plan to flatten the curve. Our members and workers are getting infected on a daily basis and the Western Cape Department of Health and the provincial government does not seem to have a tangible plan in place to defend our members and workers who are the bedrock of our national response against the pandemic.

It is against this backdrop that, we reiterate the call for our members and workers not to work if they feel that their lives are in danger.

Issued by NEHAWU Western Cape Provincial Secretariat For more information please contact: Eric Kweleta at 082 455 1795 Email: eric@nehawu.org.za