Covid-19: Concerns grow as cases grow in KZN hotspots

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KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu.
KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu.
Clive Ndou, The Witness
  • The eThekwini metro and uMgungundlovu district have been ranked as the top two hotspots in KwaZulu-Natal. 
  • The Health MEC has urged residents to follow the strict guidelines and to take the virus seriously.
  • Some traditions - such as weddings - may have to adjust to the new rules, she said.

 

KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu has expressed concern over the rising number of coronavirus cases in the province, and urged residents to follow the health protocols.

Speaking during an online Lunch Time Chat session on Thursday, Simelane-Zulu said the province had a total of 32 937 lab-identified positive cases.  

The eThekwini metro and uMgungundlovu district were ranked as the top two hotspots, with 16 682 and 5 292 positive cases respectively. 

"We should all be concerned about the spread of the virus in the province," the MEC said. 

"Yes, eThekwini metro does have the largest population in the province, however if we all follow the regulations, we wouldn't have such [a] high number", she added. 

On Thursday, statistics showed that the province had recorded 2 350 new cases. 

ALSO READ | Covid-19: Two districts record most of KZN's cases as surge continues

Simelane-Zulu said the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) had helped them determine a hotspot by using the criteria of five infections per 100 people. 

For every five people that are infected in an area considered to have 100 people, that area is regarded as a hotspot.

Fake news 

Simelane-Zulu stressed the seriousness of the virus, saying that they had initially seen a decrease in the number of new cases in the province. However, after a while, more people started taking the virus less seriously, thinking it was fake news.

She said that people should be wary of the fact that spreading fake news is illegal. 

Social gatherings 

Explaining the change in behaviours that people need to adjust to, the MEC highlighted the importance of avoiding unnecessary social gatherings.

"Social gatherings such as funerals are unavoidable," she said.

"There are some traditions we might have to adjust such as weddings".

She said that some cultures did not allow weddings to be postponed and said that, in that case, people should be limited to 50 seats or less.

Parties should be stopped completely. 

Regulations 

She said that people should make it a habit to follow the regulations of the lockdown to help slow the spread of the virus. 

"Luckily, [Cogta] Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma made it illegal for people to not wear masks in public," she said. 

She emphasised keeping a social distance of 1.5m and regular washing of hands for 20 minutes as a mechanism to help fight the spread of Covid-19 in the province.

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