Corene Conradie, Gift of the Givers Eastern Cape co-ordinator, with Dr Andries Brink, medical managing officer at the Knysna Provincial Hospital. Gift of the Givers is donating locally designed and produced CPAP oxygen machines and PPEs to various private and public facilities in the Garden Route in an effort to assist in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)
Corene Conradie, Gift of the Givers Eastern Cape co-ordinator, with Dr Andries Brink, medical managing officer at the Knysna Provincial Hospital. Gift of the Givers is donating locally designed and produced CPAP oxygen machines and PPEs to various private and public facilities in the Garden Route in an effort to assist in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Only 200 active Covid-19 cases in the EC, some towns reporting zero cases

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published May 7, 2021

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Cape Town – Active Covid-19 cases in the Eastern Cape are below 200 with some towns reporting their last case two months ago.

The province’s Health Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo, said strict health protocols and systems were put in place to deal with outbreaks in every district after the second wave.

“At this stage, the province doesn't look like it's under threat, but we don't want to let our guard down. We will continue to monitor and be vigilant,” he said.

On Thursday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize commended the province’s efforts and said every district had recorded a zero percent average change.

“This does not mean they are not getting new infections but it does mean they have maintained a plateau, which is very encouraging.

“The Eastern cape suffered a devastating second wave and was the first province to adopt a differentiated approach where certain metros and districts implemented tighter regulations than others, where it became necessary.”

“The Eastern Cape has made great sacrifices to mitigate against the spread of Covid-19 and we must acknowledge this result and encourage the province to keep this up,” he said.

A small town in the Eastern Cape, Middelburg, last recorded a positive Covid-19 case on 12 March.

Ilze Theron, the town’s dentist and acting health and safety coordinator at Wilhelm Stahl Hospital, says they are very grateful that they haven’t had to treat Covid-19 positive patients for a while.

The district was hit by the second wave in November and December 2020.

“Theron said the hospital was full of patients and over 40 of their staff members (half of all staff) also tested positive.

“The Inxuba Yethemba district — which is Middelburg and Cradock — hasn’t had an active case for around two weeks now,” she said.

The Sisonke study began the vaccine rollout in the town on Friday and Theron said she was very excited to have received her shot along with her colleagues.

“Middleburg is a small town which could be the reason why cases are low but we are also strict on our Covid-19 measures, at least here at the hospital. We had quite a bad second wave which could be the reason why our cases are lower now.

“The worst happened then and people that had recovered got immunity,” she said.

Kupelo said the province is gearing up for the distribution of vaccines to those above the age of 60 for the second phase of the rollout.

“Our aim is to vaccinate over 4.5 million people.

“For now we still encourage our people to do the basic pharmaceutical interventions including the washing of hands, social distancing, and sanitising,” he said.

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