26 July 2020
Monametse Village, Atok District
By Gilbert Moela
The burden of COVID-19 in rural areas has been under the radar, as the toll of the disease so far has been heaviest in dense urban areas.
COVID-19 could lead to more closures and instability in rural Sekhukhune District as it has now become the epicenter of Covid-19 in Limpopo Province, even though the lower density of rural areas may help keep transmission rates of the disease down. With fewer people living across relatively closer to each, social distancing is not easier to accomplish.
“Rural areas lack providers, services and money”
Compared to most urban areas, rural communities typically have less of most everything when it comes to health care – fewer providers, physicians, nurses, resources and clinics. Less personal protective equipment is practically a given. Some communities such as Monametse Village have no hospital at all. Although the community once shared it lands with Anglo American, which used to be the world’s largest platinum produces, infrastructural development within the community still remain to be see.
Rural residents – typically older – are more susceptible to COVID-19. They are also economically at risk: They live in areas with higher poverty rates and lower rates of insurance coverage.