The Eastern Cape provincial government has called on its citizens to not let their guard down even as there are reports of a decrease in Covid-19 cases in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro and Sarah Baartman District Municipality.
Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha, spokesperson for Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane, said when infections in Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman started rising, the provincial government focused on mitigation efforts in these areas to contain the virus and lower the rate of transmission.
Sicwetsha said the efforts were starting to pay off, but warned against complacency.
The reduced numbers of Covid-19 cases in the two areas are a welcome relief, especially after reports that the virus has mutated and a new strain has since been the driving force behind the second wave of infections sweeping through the Eastern Cape and the rest of the country.
“We see data evidence showing that the numbers of new infections in these two municipal areas that have been declared hotspots are declining. While this is good news, we want to caution the people of the province, especially in these two municipal areas, that we are not out of the woods yet.
“Covid-19 is still with us, and we must remain careful by complying with infection control protocols of wearing masks, keeping physical distance, washing hands and sanitising them regularly.”
“These infection control measures are essential for all of us to adhere to because they will protect us and those we love from infection. We must continue with them to protect us from the new strain of that was announced by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize,” said Sicwetsha.
While there is a decline in Covid-19 cases in Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman, there have been some significant increases in other parts of the province.
A more than 20% increase in the number of new cases was observed in Alfred Nzo, Chris Hani, Joe Gqabi and OR Tambo districts.
Buffalo City Metro and Amathole District reported a less than 20% increase in the number of new cases.
Mabuyane will on Tuesday brief the media about a Covid-19 resurgence plan, said Sicwetsha.
“Our data at the moment is that we have 157 209 positive cases, 135 876 recoveries, 6 050 deaths and 15 283 active cases in the province. The provincial recovery rate is 86.4%, with Joe Gqabi and the Nelson Mandela Bay metro reporting a recovery rate greater than 90%.
“We are concerned that the number of deaths significantly increased in November and December. This is why we are encouraging the people of our province to comply with infection control measures, respect the regulations put in place to prevent the spread of this virus,” Sicwetsha said.