RBN Morafe Advisory
Effective 17 March 2020
In these very uncertain times, it is important that we, together, take responsibility and decisive action to remain healthy and promote the health of all those within the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN). Following the announcement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the evening of Sunday, 15 March 2020, we have taken steps which will guide our actions and interactions in the coming weeks. Below is an outline of the some of the measures we have taken so far.
What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses from having a common cold to severe types of flu and upper respiratory illnesses
- COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus which was only discovered in people 2019
- Coronaviruses are spread between animals and humans and between humans themselves.
- No cure has yet been found for COVID-19
- The virus is spread when a person coughs or sneezes
- It anywhere between 2 and 14 days before someone who is infected shows any symptoms of illness.
- Although most infected people are never diagnosed, the symptoms which those who do become ill may show flu-like symptoms including fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, diarrhoea, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, headache, chills, nausea, vomiting and nasal congestion.
Who is most affected by COVID-19?
- Those with a weak or compromised immune system
- Those living with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or respiratory issues
- Although the above are most at risk, the disease can affected people of any age, sex or race
How we will manage the pandemic
There is no specific antiviral medication to treat COVID-19. If someone tests positive for the virus they are placed in quarantine until they no longer have symptoms. After this period they are tested again to make sure they are free of the disease before being allowed to return home. Not everyone who gets the virus will become very ill but because the illness so contagious, we have to be very careful.
To help avoid infection and/or spreading the virus, you must:
- wash hands with soap and water at least 10 times a day and for 20 seconds each time,
- if you cannot wash your hands, use a high-alcohol (at least 60% content) hand sanitizer,
- cough into your elbow or a disposable tissue and throw the tissue away immediately after use,
- avoid shaking hands or hugging,
- keep a social distance of at least 1.5 to 2 metres from others,
- reduce the number of social interactions in general and only travel if it is essential, and
- wipe down surfaces to avoid contamination.
- In keeping with President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on the evening of Sunday, 15 March 2020, all RBN schools will close on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 and will, initially, be closed until the 14th April 2020.
- Dry-goods food packages will be provided to the families of children already benefitting from our Royal Bafokeng Institute (RBI School Nutrition Programme). This will be coordinated through our Clinics and Early Learning Centres.
- As far as possible, the teaching and learning time lost due to this extended break will be made up by shortening the June, September and December holidays. Children should take all of their books home with them on Tuesday 17 March, so they can home-study should the enforced closure be extended beyond Tuesday 14 April.
- If the enforced closure extends beyond Tuesday 14 April, the RBI will be begin distributing teaching and learning materials to children attending our Early Learning Centres for home implementation. Teaching and learning materials for learners in our Public Schools will be distributed in partnership with the Department of Basic Education.
Other actions the RBN is taking
- We will make leaflets with information available through Makgotla, where possible, and whichever other means we can, including a WhatsApp group. We will share the WhatsApp number as soon as it is available and active
- Segoagoe will publish an interview with the Group Chief Operating Officer answering frequently asked questions relating to the COVID-19
- Makgotla ExCo meetings will continue as scheduled but will only take place per region and NOT for all regions at the same time. A schedule of dates of these meetings will be shared in due course
- Dumela Phokeng is suspended until further notice
- Kgothakgothe will be held at a date to be confirmed
- A Disaster Management Committee has been trained both internally and by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases(and the Provincial Health task team) to help us manage the effects of COVID-19
If you or someone you know shows signs of having the virus:
- stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible until your symptoms have gone
- if, however, you feel you need medical assistance, do not go to your doctor as you may infect others. Rather call your doctor for advice or contact the NICD hotline on 0800 029 999 to get advice on what to do next
- Klerksdorp and Job Shimankane Hospitals have been identified by the Province as a quarantine facilities in the Province
- The Rustenburg Health Forum, in which the RBN is a key member, identified Bleskop hospital, TAPOLOGO and Sandown Ranch Hotel as possible local quarantine facilities. RBN schools, which are not utilized, may be used only if needed over and above the identified sites. The government together with the mining houses have promised to fund these sites in order to have them sufficiently resourced
- There are 6 Clinics in the RBN staffed with trained personnel. There will also be health promoters at positioned at various points to assist with awareness of COVID-19.
- We are discouraging guests to our facilities coming from high risk countries as identified by the national government
- Maso, Manyalo, and church services should be suspended or postponed where possible. Those who do attend funerals, must take the necessary precautions
- We encourage morafe to buy ‘take-aways' from shebeens and those organizing social events must ensure that appropriate measures are in place to avoid or minimize transmission. However, we encourage people not to attend social gatherings of any form including visits to shebeens, if possible
- Church services should respect the limit of numbers of people in attendance at any given session or time
- Lastly, our Protective services team has been mandated to monitor compliance and where required, to intervene.
Developments relating to COVID-19 are taking place on a daily basis and we will continue to provide updates as and when necessary.
Remember: it is only by taking individual responsibility for our actions and through working together that we will be able to play our part in containing the spread of COVID-19.
Together, we can.