We are Covid Hotspot No. 2

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The uMgungundlovu District is now the province’s number two hotspot for Covid-19 infections after eThekwini, with the highest numbers in Msunduzi.

Health Department staff and doctors have blamed Pietermaritzburg’s rising figures on non-adherence to lockdown regulations, as people were still “partying, socialising, gathering and shopping”. Local doctors warned of already having a shortage of hospital beds, ICU space and ventilators.

Northdale, with 92 positive cases, and Mountain Rise and the CBD, with 21 cases each, are Pietermaritzburg’s hotspot areas. These statistics are recorded in a document by the Health Department for the district as at June 29.

Other areas in Pietermaritzburg with more than 10 positive people include Scottsville (20), Westgate (20), Imbali 2 (20), Woodlands (15), Sweetwaters (13), Chase Valley (12), Hayfields (12), KwaQanda (12), Pelham (12), Edendale (10), Grange (10) and Napierville (10).

Leading towns in neighbouring municipalities include Hilton in the uMngeni Municipality with 21 positive cases, Howick (14) and Mpophomeni (seven); Townview in Mpofana has 11 cases; Thornville in the Richmond District has six cases; Kwaketha in Impendle two cases; Mpaya No 5 in Mkhambathini District with five cases and Swayimane in Mshwati with four cases.

As at June 29, the province had a total of 8 434 positive cases, accounting for 6,3% of the country’s cumulative figure. Of those, 4 717 were active cases, 3 602 recovered and 115 deaths. uMgungundlovu District has recorded 961 confirmed cases, two deaths and 247 recoveries. eThekwini remains the province’s top hotspot with 4 947 positive cases and 84 deaths while Ilembe (previously in second place as a hotspot) has 916 cases and six deaths.

uThukela District, with 392 cases, is followed by the King Cetshwayo District with 277 cases.

The Witness has also managed to obtain further statistics for uMgungundlovu after it brought a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application against the KZN Health Department, after several requests for statistics were turned down.

As at June 25 — when the statistics were provided to The Witness — 7 218 tests had been conducted in the district since March; with 1 551 being the highest number of tests done, in the week of June 15-21.

The first test, yielding a negative result, was done on February 6 at Grey’s Hospital and just short of a month later, Hilton’s Patient Zero and his wife were the second and third people to test for Covid-19 in the district, yielding positive results. The next person to test positive in the district was on March 20, followed by two more positive cases on March 27 and two more on May 5.

The district’s explosion began in earnest from the week of June 8 when 44 positive tests were recorded, growing steadily to 102 positive cases a week later (June 15-21) and recording the most positive tests — 116 (from 919 tests) in the week June 22-28.

Northdale Hospital, as a testing facility, has recorded the highest number of positive patients at 112 cases from 1 660 tests, followed by Grey’s Hospital with 72 positive cases from 1 116 tests and then Covid KZ uMgungundlovu with 52 cases from 1 021 tests.

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