Rise in Covid-19 cases in Western Cape ’not a resurgence’
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Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has noted Health Minister Zweli Mkhize’s concern that some provinces are seeing increases in infections, with a specific mention of the Western Cape.
He pointed out, however, that the Western Cape government's seven-day “rolling average” of new cases indicates 1 757 new cases recorded in the week to October 19, compared to 1 546 the previous week. This represents an increase of 13.65% in new cases in the seven-day period.
Emphasising that the province’s surveillance teams are closely monitoring ''bush fires'', he highlighted that the Department of Health's definition of a resurgence is an increase of more than 20% in new cases over a seven-day period.
'’As we outlined in our weekly digital press conference held last week, the province has seen an increase in the number of active cases over the past two weeks in certain areas, predominantly driven by certain super-spreader events and clusters of infections,“ Winde said.
’’We have also shared these stories publicly so that residents are fully informed about the continued risks, and to encourage high vigilance.
’’We are indeed very concerned about the relaxed behaviours which we have seen which may have led to this increase in cases and we are not the only province experiencing this as reflected in the national data.
’’The Western Cape government continues to track our cases closely and it was through our surveillance efforts that we have been able to identify and manage clusters such as the one that emerged in the southern suburbs and in other areas.’’
Winde added: ’’It is important to also note that many of the initial cases linked to the cluster have now recovered and the rate of new infections in the area is starting to decline.
’’There is currently a lot of variability of the caseload week on week, and so we will have a much clearer picture of what is happening in the coming weeks.
’’We will continue to provide our data to the National Department of Health as we do weekly and we always keep them informed of all changes. Where we have seen clusters of infections, we have been quick to act and to respond.
’’We have, however, seen from experience in other countries that monitoring, and tracking is not enough to prevent a resurgence - we must all actively be working to slow the spread of this virus.
''Our behaviour is key to ensuring that we do not see a resurgence in cases. I therefore once again appeal to all of our residents to continue to take the necessary precautions: wear your mask, wash your hands, and ensure that you keep a distance between yourself and any other person.
’’We also call on businesses and places where people are allowed to gather-including churches and government buildings to ensure that the necessary safety protocols are in place.'’
As of 1pm on 21 Wednesday, the Western Cape had 3 177 active Covid-19 infections, with a total of 114 121 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 106 643 recoveries.
The Western Cape recorded an additional five deaths, bringing the total number of Covid-19- related deaths in the province to 4 301.