Covid-19: Signs of a resurgence in the Eastern Cape should be a wake-up call to all of us - Ramaphosa

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  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned the Eastern Cape should be a wake-up call to South Africans.
  • This as the province showed signs of a Covid-19 resurgence.
  • It now had the second highest number of active cases in the country, according to national health department.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says signs of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases in the Eastern Cape should serve as a warning to citizens to remain vigilant.

"What we are witnessing in the Eastern Cape should be a wake-up call to all of us, that we cannot relax and we cannot be complacent," he said.

Ramaphosa was addressing the nation virtually on Wednesday on the latest developments surrounding the country's response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

According to the president, in the last week, the number of new cases in the province was 50% higher than the week before.

In addition, the total number of new cases in the last 14 days was around 145% higher than the previous 14 days.

"These increases are being driven by massive spikes in the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Sarah Baartman District, in particular.

"For the last month, there has been a sustained upward increase in hospital admissions in the province," Ramaphosa said.

READ | Eastern Cape hospitals fill up again as Covid-19 resurgence takes hold

The president added evidence suggested the increases in the province could have been triggered by outbreaks in institutions of higher learning such as universities, schools and attendance by people at large gatherings. 

He said this made for a dangerous environment when combined with poor adherence to social distancing, mask-wearing and other poor hygiene measures.

"With many people moving between the Eastern Cape and other provinces - particularly the Western Cape - it is a matter of time before this surge spreads to other parts of the country."

As a result, Ramaphosa announced the implementation of a resurgence plan - which has been developed together with the surge team deployed to South Africa by the World Health Organisation - in response to rising infections. 

"Interventions include primary healthcare outreach teams to intensify contact tracing, daily community mobilisation, ensuring the readiness of health facilities, and being ready to respond to possible clusters outbreaks.

"We will be working closely with the provincial government, municipalities and other institutions in the Eastern Cape in the coming days and weeks to ensure that this surge is contained and managed," he said.

South Africa recorded 60 more Covid-19-related deaths by Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to 20 011.

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