“All of our staff are on the streets along with the army and police. We are checking vehicles and making sure that people are going just for the essentials.
“However, we have just come from Langa and Khayelitsha and there are still hundreds of people on the streets, and this is proving hard to police.
“Currently we are in the hundreds (of infected) and if it carries on like this, by June we will be in the hundreds of thousands with infections,” said Smith.
He added that it seemed like some people were still taking this virus and lockdown as a joke and not realising the seriousness of it. While others were obeying to the rules and keeping social distance, in other parts some were still not.
“We will be intensifying operations tomorrow (today); it is about getting people to understand today the severity of this. We will be across the city.
“We have been to Athlone and Bonteheuwel, where people seem to be adhering to the lockdown measures.”
He said three large venues had been identified for the hundreds of homeless people who had agreed to be moved. All of this would happen no later than today, said Smith.
“The same with the refugees - we are looking for a place for them. The national government has not found a viable place for them.”
Smith has warned against vigilantism should someone be found to be positive and the community was up in arms; he advised that people did not take the law into their own hands but rather contacted law enforcement authorities.
Deanna Bessick, communications officer for Emergency Medical Services and Forensic Pathology Services said they had recorded a ninth attack on EMS staff since the start of the year. The recent attack took place in Baca Street, in Makhaza, Khayelitsha on Wednesday.
“We condemn these senseless attacks. What is also concerning is that the latest incident occurred during the day, thereby demonstrating the lengths opportunistic criminals would go to endanger our officials’ lives,” said Bessick.
The three suspects are alleged to have pointed a gun and threatened an EMS crew with a knife while robbing them of their belongings.
The crew - a male and a female - were responding to a call in Khayelitsha and the patient was in the ambulance at the time of the attack. There were no injuries and the paramedics received counselling.
The metro police this time would work with the SAPS and SANDF to monitor and enforce strict adherence to the lockdown guidelines.
The Disaster Operations Centre will be operating 24 hours a day during this period to communicate swiftly with the public during emergencies.
The numbers to dial in the event of an emergency are 107 (landline) or 0214807700 (cellphone).
In addition, City emergency and policing vehicles have started loudhailing across areas, communicating the lockdown and disseminating information on basic health and safety measures.