Coronavirus: More travellers from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape test positive

More people who travelled from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19, increasing the figure to 80, Eastern Cape Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba announced on Thursday night.

There are an additional 24 positive cases which have been added to the 56 confirmed earlier in the day.

The people entered the province through Tsitsikamma and Aberdeen.

The MEC was worried about a possible spike in the number of positive cases after the last day of the grace period for interprovincial travel, which was yesterday.

"We are hopeful that the number of people testing positive will not continue going up," said Gomba.

As the numbers grow, political hostility between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape governments over the crisis is mounting.

Seasonal farmworkers

On Thursday, Western Cape Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela accused the Eastern Cape government of building a "Berlin Wall" and creating animosity between the two governments.

His statement comes days after Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane accused the DA-led Western Cape government of "dumping" migrant workers in the Eastern Cape on Monday.

Mabuyane revealed, during a packed press briefing on Monday, that his government was battling to trace many of the 10 000 seasonal farmworkers who crossed the Eastern Cape borders from the Western Cape in the first week of the Level 4 lockdown. Some are feared to be carriers of the deadly virus.

He said about 300 of the workers were found in Sundays River citrus farms.

Madikizela took to Facebook on Thursday evening and slammed the Eastern Cape government, telling its officials to "do your job and stop moaning".

In a strong-worded post, Madikizela wrote: "To the Eastern Cape Government, be careful what you wish for. Just do your job and stop moaning, when the Western Cape traffic officers catch someone from Eastern Cape with drugs, unroadworthy vehicle, overloaded or without license, YOU WILL NEVER hear us blaming you, we just do our job."

Creating 'animosity'

"You caught 56 people with Covid-19 positive cases from Western Cape, and we hear about the conspiracy theories about Western Cape deliberately sending positive people to Eastern Cape, utter nonsense.

"Eastern Cape insist on testing all the people who are coming from Western Cape but not from Gauteng and KZN, why is that? This animosity that you are creating between these two provinces will come back to bite you, stop building Berlin Wall between these two provinces and establish protocols to work better together. (sic)"

Gomba revealed that 9 524 people were transported from the Western Cape between 29 April and 4 May.

"We will not be deterred or derailed as we are committed in flattening the curve in the province," Gomba said.

The MEC called on people to adhere to lockdown regulations by washing their hands with soap or using sanitiser frequently and practising social distancing.

"This needs all of us to work together so that we beat this virus. Until a vaccine is found, we have to all play our part and practise good personal hygiene. This virus only moves when people move, so it's up to all of us to contain it."

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