2,514 new cases reported as Western Cape sees ‘second wave’

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize.

As of Thursday, South Africa has recorded a total of 759,658 Covid-19 cases, with 2,514 new cases identified since the last report, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced.

“Regrettably, 115 more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 43, Free State 23, Gauteng 23, Kwa-Zulu Natal 9, Mpumalanga 2 and Western Cape 15. This brings the total deaths to 20,671,” he said.

Total recoveries now stand at 702,554 which translates to a recovery rate of 92.6%

“We extend our condolences to the loved ones of the departed and thank the healthcare workers who treated the deceased patients,” said Mkhize.

Meanwhile, In a bid to contain a second wave of Covid-19, the Western Cape is making it compulsory for organisers of large potential “superspreader” events to now also get medical compliance certification.

“We are not adhering to the rules,” said Premier Alan Winde in a joint briefing with health authorities on the resurgence on Thursday.

Winde added 752 people were now in hospitals after hovering at around 500 cases.

Cases on the Garden Route continue to rise.

“We need to downsize those events during the festive season,” he said. “We need to take lessons from what happens in other parts of the world.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said awareness drives were ongoing as was mask distribution to help instill behaviour change.

Preparations are already under way for an increase in the number of hospital beds needed, but normal hospital services are continuing.

The head of the Department of Health in the Western Cape, Dr Keith Cloete, said the increased numbers along the Garden Route were enough to say there was a second Covid-19 wave in the province, starting in the Garden Route.

“The risk now is the Cape Metro,” he added.

A comparison of the Western Cape’s daily provincial report shows that on 11 November 2020 there were 1 977 cases recorded over the previous seven days. The daily report up to 18 November recorded 3 224 new cases over the past seven days – a percentage change of 63%. Most are on the Garden Route.

Bitou, Knysna and George have shown significant increases in positive tests on the Garden Route, which is a popular holiday destination.

In the last three weeks, public sector hospitalisation also increased.

The Citizen