Covid-19 death in Bo-Kaap

There have been two confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Bo-Kaap.

The Bo-Kaap community has dealt with two cases of the coronarivus (Covid-19), recording one death.

This was confirmed by the Covid-19 Bo-Kaap Community Response Team, an initiative started by different organisations in the area to lend a hand to the community while the virus remains a threat.

Kulsum Cassiem, 81, died in hospital on Saturday April 4. The community response team said Ms Cassiem was treated for pneumonia and tested positive for Covid-19.

Ms Cassiem’s children alerted the response team to their mother’s condition last Thursday.

They said their mother did not know she had the virus and whether she had contracted it within the community.

They urged the team to inform the community so that precautionary measures could be taken by residents.

They stated: “We are sharing the information as we feel it’s vital for ensuring that the Bo-Kaap community is kept safe, educated about this disease and stays united. Our humble appeal is that residents remain indoors and in self-isolation, to minimise the risk of the virus affecting others.” Ms Cassiem was buried at the Mowbray Cemetery on Sunday April 5.

The first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Bo-Kaap was of 73-year-old Mogamat Salie.

Mr Salie tested positive after visiting hospital last week. He has since been discharged after his condition stabilised and is currently in isolation for 14 days.

The co-ordinator of the Bo-Kaap Community Response Team, Mustarah Adams, said they are still not sure how both residents had contracted the virus.

She said Ms Cassiem was not a person who would often be found outdoors.

However, she said, Mr Salie could be found outdoors and was a friendly person who spoke to everyone. “We don’t know how they both contracted the disease. Anything is possible because Bo-Kaap is a tourist area; it’s possible that Ms Salie went outside to buy bread and spoke to a tourist or someone. We are not sure,” she said.

She said both cases had shown how serious the virus is and how anyone can contract it.

“We need people to stay at home and help flatten the curve.”Ms Adams said they were grateful for the support of the community and how everyone, young and old, showed support to the families.

She thanked the community and the team for helping to break down the stigma surrounding the virus. “We are not medical experts, but we want the community to know that we’ll lend a hand where we can and support them emotionally and reach out to those in need of any assistance,” she said.

The team’s efforts were praised by Premier Alan Winde last week.

Mr Winde said they were aware that the community had established their own Covid-19 response team. “This team, together with proactive and open family of a patient, was able to alert the community to a positive test in a way that was informative, and did not stigmatise the illness. Their efforts could also support us to trace close contacts and ensure they self-isolate. This kind of response team can only work if the messaging is responsible, caring and shared on a voluntary basis, and we would like to thank them for this,” he said.