CT health inspectors up game to keep residents in line with COVID-19 protocols

EWN followed a City of Cape Town health inspector, one of many who are strictly watching businesses, food outlets, and are ensuring that certain services are being delivered.

Armed with his coronavirus information pamphlets, City of Cape Town environmental health practitioner Ziyaad Samaai gets ready to do his rounds in his district. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - As more shops stores and restaurants reopen under lower COVID-19 alert levels, environmental health practitioners are upping their game to ensure that everyone stays safe.

EWN spent the day with a City of Cape Town environmental health practitioner who's active during the pandemic.

Have you ever wondered who ensures whether the correct protocols are in place when you pop into a store for your groceries or when you order food online and have it dropped off at your place?

Well, one of the army of environmental health practitioners who does just that is Ziyaad Samaai. He's based in Wynberg.

A serious but friendly gentleman, Samaai moves around almost daily, making sure that health matters are in order.

Their daily function entails food control, health surveillance, water quality monitoring and more.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been busy moving between shops, stores, dumpsites and informal settlements.

Wearing a mask on his face and carrying a book in the one hand, he walks towards residents at the City Mission informal settlement in Strandfontein.

Here he checks whether there's clean running water and that toilets are working and are being frequently cleaned with chemicals.

Within 30 minutes he is inside a Claremont mall, ensuring that there's social distancing, sanitisers at hand and that health and safety pamphlets are in place.

He said that the pandemic was serious and that awareness was key.

"The spaces in between queues, is the store allowing too many people in? If that happens, we stop the queue there and ask them to finish what they're doing and then start filtering them out again."

Samaai said that with learners going back to school, he would soon be doing inspections at schools and ECD's to see how ready and prepared institutions were.

He said that even though we were living in rather weird times, he enjoyed interacting with people, ensuring social distancing of course, and hoped that people took the pandemic seriously.

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