Covid-19: “If we continue like this the virus is going to kill us,” says worried shopper

Social distancing rules ignored at Nyanga mall in Cape Town

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Photo of crowd outside mall
Beneficiaries of social grants queued outside Nyanga Junction Mall last week. Photo: Buziwe Nocuze

“If we continue like this the virus is going to kill us.” Shopper Zimasa Nkuhlu is worried that other customers at the Nyanga Junction Mall in Philippi in Cape Town are not respecting social distancing rules or wearing masks.

She told GroundUp many people did not take the risk of Covid-19 seriously because when the daily statistics were published they did not see Nyanga mentioned. Nyanga is under Klipfontein and it has 578 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

“As you can see, others don’t even have masks even though it was said no one should leave the house without the mask,” said Nkuhlu.

“When you tell people about social distancing they just tell you to back off and stop being dramatic. They think it is only people in Khayelitsha that have the virus because they don’t know they are under Klipfontein. According to them we are safe on this side, which is not true.”

The mall was especially crowded last week as social grant beneficiaries gathered to collect their money. Lungiswa Ntanga, who started queueing at 5am, was still far from the entrance at 3:30pm. Asked about coronavirus precautions, she said: “Most people don’t take the virus seriously. The security guards tried to talk to them about the importance of social distancing, but they didn’t listen”.

But it is not only on the social grant days that the mall is crowded. Manager Ntsikelelo Kosani told GroundUp that they are taking in more than 2,000 people per day.

“We are doing everything to protect our shoppers,” he said. Only 500 people were allowed in at a time, and there were marks or trolleys on the ground to keep people apart in queues, he said.

But a security guard at the mall, who did not want to be named, said people did not pay attention to social distancing rules.

“We asked them so many times to maintain the social distance but they didn’t listen. Instead they told us they are not kids and they won’t be killed by this virus”.

TOPICS:  Covid-19

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