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BnB owners in Eastern Cape refusing to accept COVID-19 patients for isolation

Apr 20, 2020
BnB owners in Eastern Cape refusing to accept COVID-19 patients for isolation

East London - Following public outcry, Eastern Cape Premier, Oscar Mabuyane, cancelled the use of a BnB belonging to the daughter of Eastern Cape Transport MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, to house 14 COVID-19 patients.

"I have directed provincial Departments of Health and Public Works to find an alternative accommodation for a group of people that were to be accommodated at the Mioca BnB in Cala for 14 days. The booking at Mioca BnB has since been cancelled by the provincial government," Mabuyane said. 

"This decision is a proper action by government in order to remove any amount of doubt in the prudence of the work government is doing to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the province. 

"The work we are doing includes accommodating a number of people that will require decent and suitable accommodation for both quarantine and self-isolation during this pandemic. 

"I want to appreciate the willingness of the owner of Mioca BnB to accommodate people that were to be accommodated at their facility for this purpose when some accommodation facilities in the area and in other parts of the province were reportedly not willing to accommodate people that needed accommodation for quarantine and isolation."

The Premier said that his government also appreciates the fact they were able to accommodate the people who needed quarantine and isolation at no cost to government until government was able to find an alternative venue for them. 

"This is the time when South Africans must be patriotic in our collective effort to tackle the spread of this coronavirus."

BnB owners in Eastern Cape refusing to accept COVID-19 patients for isolation

Meanwhile, MEC Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe assured the Premier that she does not own the BnB at issue, and that the ownership of this business enterprise by her daughter was declared as required. 

"Given the fact that the procurement of this BnB was not done by the Departments led by MEC Tikana-Gxothiwe, the fact that she does not own this business and that she was not involved directly or indirectly in the procurement process of this facility, the allegations of corruption and nepotism peddled by some individuals on social media have not been substantiated," Mabuyane said.  

"While any person has a right to question processes and decisions of government, we must guard against making unfounded and baseless accusations against any individual with no proof and evidence to support such claims.  

"We are seeing a worrying behavior in the province where some owners of BnBs refuse to accommodate people for quarantine and isolation. We are concerned that some communities neighboring some of these BnBs are protesting the accommodation of individuals for quarantine and isolation at some of the BnBs in the province. 

"There have been no valid reasons presented by those wanting to prevent accommodation of individuals for quarantine and isolation at these facilities. This makes us to regard this behaviour as an attempt to stigmatize the people accommodated for quarantine and isolation.  

"We condemn any form of stigmatization of the people infected by the coronavirus and we call on the people of our province to support those who test positive for this virus so that they can recover fully."

The Premier said that people who are quarantined and isolated will be accommodated at decent and suitable facilities because they are humans whose human rights and dignity must be protected by all of us in government and in society. 

"As part of our COVID19 containment and management plan, we have identified about 127 accommodation facilities such as hospital facilities, nurses’ homes, nature reserves, hotels, BnBs, to be used for accommodation of people that will need to be quarantined and isolated during this pandemic. This number excludes those that will need hospitalization for treatment and care.  

"These facilities were identified by government officials at the district level, some were availed by property owners in the private sector and all of these properties were assessed for suitability by the provincial government," he added. 

"These facilities are in all the district, and metropolitan municipal areas of the province. These properties include properties owned by the state and those owned by private companies. We appreciate the willingness of private companies to avail their properties for quarantine and isolation of people who might not be able to self-isolate in their homes. 

"We must all accept that not every person who will need to be quarantined and isolated for 14 days will be able to do so in their homes. We have a responsibility as government to provide decent and suitable accommodation for some of the people that need to be quarantined and isolated during this pandemic.  

"Everything done by government is and must continue to be according to laws and regulations aimed at preventing wrong, irregular and corrupt practices. We will continue making sure that everything we do is above board."

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