The Department of Health says notices that are widely circulating claiming certain areas to be Covid-19 hot spots are not official notices issued by the department. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
The Department of Health says notices that are widely circulating claiming certain areas to be Covid-19 hot spots are not official notices issued by the department. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Covid-19 hot spot alerts on social media ‘not official’

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Nov 23, 2020

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Cape Town - Although the Cape Metro is seeing an uptick in Covid-19 infections, the Department of Health says notices that are widely circulating claiming certain areas to be Covid-19 hot spots are not official notices issued by the department, but stuck to it’s cautionary tone.

Last week, an “Urgent Notice” on the Safely Home by Western Cape Government Facebook page, declared that the number of Covid-19 infections had been increasing over the past few weeks in Grassy Park, Lotus River, Pelican Park and Ottery, with the areas subsequently flagged as “at risk for the spread of Covid-19”.

Similar notices had also been shared stating that Dunoon and Atlantis had also been dubbed Covid-19 hot spots.

Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the department was aware of the graphics circulating on social media regarding the increase in Covid-19 infections in some areas in Cape Town.

“While this is not an official hot-spot alert by the Western Cape government, the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing in the Metro, and so we do urge heightened vigilance by all residents,” said Van der Heever.

The posts have since been removed from the Facebook page.

Department of Transport and Public Works spokesperson Jandre Bakker said there was nothing wrong with the online posts as they simply served to highlight what had been mentioned during Premier Alan Winde’s most recent digicon on the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the Grassy Park Policing Forum has urged residents to remain compliant with Covid-19 preventive measures.

“Covid-19 is real. It claims lives every day. Face masks must be seen as mandatory. No compromise on social distancing. Stay away from parties and huge gatherings of people. It’s for the safety of others, especially our older folks,” it said.

Latest and detailed information on the Covid-19 pandemic in the province can be found on the Western Cape Government Covid-19 Dashboard.

There are 6 135 active cases in the province. The death toll currently stands at 4 523.

Cape Argus

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