Hammanskraal residents warned against using tap water

The City of Tshwane has warned residents from Hammanskraal and surrounding areas not to use water from taps for drinking following the outbreak of gastrointestinal infection or diarrhoeal disease in the area.

The outbreak has claimed the lives of at least seven people with more than 60 receiving treatment at the Jubilee Hospital for the infection.

It can be spread through contaminated water.

“While the water supplied by the city in Hammanskraal is not potable…the city does provide potable (drinkable) water through 52 water tankers to informal settlements three times a week and 40 water trucks to formal areas daily in Region 2. This is done to ensure that communities drink safe water

“The city regularly conducts tests on the quality of water provided to our communities, and following this outbreak, comprehensive tests will be done on the entire water distribution network.

“Water samples have been collected in the affected areas and taken for tests and results are expected on Wednesday to determine the cause of the outbreak. The city is eagerly awaiting the confirmatory test results from the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to establish the cause of the outbreak,” the City said in a statement on Sunday.

Officials from the city’s health department are expected to collect further samples from water tankers that supply informal settlements.

“The Outbreak Response Teams (ORT) are on the ground conducting surveillance monitoring and doing sampling of the water. Communities are urged to present themselves to the nearest health facility immediately when they experience symptoms. Health facilities are on high alert to urgently attend to the patients with symptoms.

“The city would like to encourage residents in the affected areas to regularly wash their containers they use to draw water from the water tankers with Jik detergent, and to boil water drawn from other sources before drinking it. Communities are also urged not to conduct religious activities such as baptism in the rivers or streams,” it said.

Source: South African Government News Agency