Covid-19 cases at correctional services rise to 321
PRETORIA – The Department of Correctional Services said it has noted a resurgence of positive cases in East London, as 98 inmates test positive for the novel coronavirus.
“The department of correctional services has noted a resurgence of positive cases in East London, wherein 98 sentenced inmates tested positive for Covid-19,” DCS spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo said.
"Additionally, six officials and three inmates were confirmed to be positive in the Western Cape, whilst Kimberly registered one case of an official,” he said.
“As a result, the total number of positive cases in [prisons] is now at 321.”
Nxumalo said in a bid to avail immediate expertise in the management of infections, prevention and control measures, the DCS has appointed a medical advisory panel and additional 393 nursing personnel.
“This measure is also aimed at strengthening the capacity of the department in dealing with Covid-19, particularly in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.”
Nxumalo said the total number of Covid-19 at DCS recoveries has increased to 92.
The latest provincial breakdown given by DCS on Monday is as follows:
Eastern Cape - 223
Officials - 50
Inmates - 173
Western Cape - 81
Officials - 73
Inmates - 8
Recoveries - 30
Limpopo - 2
Officials - 2
Inmates - 0
Gauteng - 13
Officials - 4
Inmates - 9
Officials - 1
Pretoria head office
Officials - 1
Earlier on Monday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said it was evident that there was cross-border transmission of Covid-19 between the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape and this had to be handled holistically.
"The proximity is affecting the people. The Eastern Cape and the Western Cape ... it is the same community and the transmission between them is not even an accident," the minister said while visiting the Eastern Cape.
He said the two neighbouring provinces were intricately linked through movement of people and goods along trade routes and it was therefore obvious that the high number of infections in the Western Cape would have an impact on the Eastern Cape.
"The trade routes and the seasonal workers are something we have to take into account as we manage the containment of the infections," he said.
The Western Cape has 5,621 confirmed infections and the Eastern Cape 1,356.