Concern over rise in local transmissions

2020-04-07 06:00
(Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

(Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)

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Following the confirmation of a third case of Covid-19 infection in Khayelitsha, the area along with Mitchell’s Plain and any other high-risk areas will benefit from mass Covid-19 screening and testing as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

With the latest development in Khayelitsha, six confirmed cases in Mitchell’s Plain and 17 in the Klipfontein sub-district which includes Athlone and Gatesville among others, provincial health officials have expressed their concern over potential spikes in local transmissions in these areas.

At the time of going to print Western Cape had 464 confirmed cases.

Premier Alan Winde says 368 of the cases are in the City of Cape Town.

Mitchell’s Plain had seven cases, but one patient has since recovered.

Head of provincial health, Dr Keith Cloete says of these cases more than 160 cases are locally transmitted – infected persons passing the virus on to others who have not travelled.

“Our hospitalisations are going up. (A total of) 22 people have been admitted to hospital with seven people in ICU.

“We only have the one recorded death but our hospitalisations are going up and our admission to ICU is going up,” says Cloete.

According to Cloete, the areas of greatest concern to in the metro is Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain and Klipfontein.

“These are the three areas that have the most vulnerable areas within them but it is still the areas with the least cases. Our concern is that we might be having community transmission in those areas,” he says.

Winde noted the importance of continuing and adhering to the restrictions imposed by the lockdown.

“With the first week of lockdown (coming to an end at Midnight on Thursday 2 April), this is something we have taken very seriously because as a country we need to make sure that we put pressure on slowing the Covid-19 virus in our country,” says Winde.

“As was announced with the first cases of Covid-19 in Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain we are seeing Covid-19 move between our citizens and this is where our risk lies and why lockdown is so very important and important that we all observe the rules around this lockdown.”

These include following good hygiene practices and social distancing, says Winde.

To date, more than 50 people in the province have self-isolated for the 14 days and have recovered from the virus.

“The 14-days of isolation is from the first day that you showed symptoms,” says Cloete.

The number of days that symptoms are shown is subtracted from the mandatory 14 days.

Cloete says the health department is currently undertaking to provide flu vaccinations for the upcoming winter period.

They will provide this to health workers who are on the frontlines, the elderly, those with chronic conditions and those who have a compromised immune system.

Winde urged residents to be mindful of their health and stay home if they have contracted the virus.

“If you have flu-like symptoms, go home and call the hotline,” says Winde.

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