The Democratic Alliance (DA) is demanding an urgent intervention from the Departments of Health and Public Works to resolve an untenable situation at a quarantine facility in Durban.
In an oversight visit to a facility in central Durban last night, DA member of Parliament Tim Brauteseth accompanied by DA member of the Provincial Legislature, Martin Meyer, discovered the full extent of a horror quarantine experience being suffered by hundreds of South African repatriates.
The ship Carnival Fascination docked in the Durban harbour yesterday and over 300 South African employees from the Carnival Cruise Line disembarked to begin their sojourn in local quarantine facilities.
A portion of the group were taken to hotels in North Beach and Umhlanga. The remaining group of some 200 were taken to the Coastlands Self Catering Apartments in the notorious Point red light district.
When the group were dropped at the hotel they were greeted by staff who were not prepared for their arrival. The group were placed in rooms that were filthy replete with dead pigeons and cockroaches galore. The facilities in most of the rooms are broken and rusted and there are no cleaning materials. The hotel has an overwhelming smell of mould which is affecting many of the group’s health. Many of the group opted to sleep in the lobby rather than the rooms.
The hotel’s air conditioning does not work making the rooms saunas and there is no Wifi for guests to make contact with the outside world.
To make matters even worse, there is absolutely no health protocol being applied at the facility. Members of the group are not screened and are free to roam in and out of the facility as they wish. There is no real food provision to the point where members of the group simply leave the hotel to buy their own fast food.
Further contamination risk was evidenced by the arrival of an ambulance after our visit dropping off unknown persons.
It is fundamentally clear to the DA that there was no planning at all with the designation of this site as a quarantine facility. The provincial departments of Health and Public Works have no clue as to the situation and their national counterparts are missing in action, ignoring our correspondence and calls for an urgent intervention.
The DA is determined to regain control of this rudderless ship and call on the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize and the Minister of Public Works, Patricia De Lille to urgently intervene and remove all members of this group from this hellhole and immediately place them in a safe and secure facility with proper quarantine protocols. The DA is undaunted in it’s principled stand to fight for the rights of all South Africans in the face of unconscionable government ineptitude and negligence.