People with disabilities in Limpopo want lockdown guidelines revised
19 Apr 2020
By Pimani Baloyi
Some people with disabilities in Limpopo want the lockdown guidelines revised to cater for their specific needs. They say it’s near impossible for them to access essential services.
As Health officials express concern over the increase of local transmissions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Limpopo, some people with disabilities who are based in rural areas say it has become close to impossible for them to access essential services during the lockdown.
A 41-year-old wheelchair-user says it has become difficult to access food and other amenities to keep her household running. The mother of four says she relies on public transport and going to town to access her disability grant last week was a nightmare.
She has called on government to liaise with transport providers so that they can be more considerate of people with disabilities during the lockdown.
“Lockdown has brought too much frustration to us people with disabilities in South Africa. I would, therefore, like to request our government to consider us people with disabilities. We request government to negotiate with the taxi industry to have a special day for people with disabilities who would like to go to town so they can be able to be accommodated in their taxis. The taxi driver, for example, can reserve two or three seats for people with disabilities on that particular day.”
Blind South Africa’s Disky Rivisi has advised families of people with disabilities to exercise patience with their loved ones and to ensure that they educate them about the coronavirus as well as reasons for the national lockdown.
“Relatives of people with disabilities need to show patience and explain about the virus and the need to constantly wash their hands and social distancing so that they remain safe during this time.”
Meanwhile, Limpopo Health MEC, Doctor Phophi Ramathuba, has expressed concern over the increase in local transmission in the province.
“The total number of cases cumulative in the province is at 23, where 13 have already tested negative or they are fully recovered. The three new cases that have never traveled outside the country, we also have a child who has been infected because the father had been infected. We also have a case of a patient who came to the province on the 26th (March).”