The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) calls on government to ensure that there is also a plan to vaccinate homeless people.
The IFP is of the firm view that there are many people living on our streets during this pandemic, and no one seems to care about their health status.
Many homeless people who do not stay in shelters may sleep in abandoned buildings, bus stations or even shop fronts. These are places where an exposed person could contaminate their surroundings, creating opportunities for spreading the infection to others.
This is a calamity that needs to be addressed with urgency. Unnecessary spreading of the virus can be avoided with careful planning and proper intervention.
Amid all the planning, and a growing sense of panic, the impact of the spread of Covid-19 among homeless people is not being widely discussed. It is nearly impossible for homeless people to maintain social distance, and comply with hygiene requirements. It should, therefore, be of special concern to local authorities to make informed submissions on the number and whereabouts of homeless people within municipalities.
The IFP challenges government – in particular the Departments of Health and Social Development – to tell the public what plans they have in place to ensure that homeless people are given due consideration in planning the roll-out of the vaccine.
Hon Les Govender, MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson for Social Development
083 974 4894