Image via Adobestock.
Image via Adobestock.
Durban’s famous beachfront, a favourite destination for Easter holiday-makers, has been closed to swimmers to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The city has barred swimming at the string of beaches that make up the beachfront and also closed all public swimming pools.
eThekwini Metro Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said that public spaces would have certain restrictions imposed upon them after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national disaster in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All swimming pools will be closed, effective immediately, for the duration of [the school] break and will reopen after Easter,” Kaunda said on 19 March.
“Bathing in all beaches is now prohibited with immediate effect. However, lifeguards will remain on duty to monitor and ensure safety. Law enforcement will be engaged to monitor those who do not adhere to these measures.”
Metro authorities will enforce national government’s ban on gatherings of more than 100 people to attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“Events [which were] previously planned, where more than 100 people were expected, have been cancelled,” the mayor confirmed.
Staff at public facilities will still be at work, but non-essential facilities like libraries would be closed.
Kaunda committed to improving sanitation in informal settlements by setting up water tanks, liquid soap and hand sanitizer dispensers at communal ablution facilities.
The mayor said plans were in place to install additional water points at all 2200 communal ablution blocks in the city of Durban.
“[We will] provide water storage tanks in all informal settlements where no communal ablution facilities exist,” Kaunda added.
“These will be filled by mobile water tankers. There will be installation of liquid soap dispensers and hand sanitiser at all communal ablution facilities in informal settlements and transit facilities.”
Kaunda revealed that limitations on public gatherings would also extend to funerals. The Durban Metro mayor said that families would be asked to limit mourners at city cemeteries to 50 people at once.
The mayor asked the community to adhere to burial schedules to prevent a logjam of funerals.
“During funerals, the community is encouraged to limit the number of mourners to family members only or to restrict the mourners to not more than 50 at the cemetery. Mourners should keep to burial time slots allocated to prevent delays in accessing the cemetery.”