Ramaphosa warns of dangers of a second-wave as EC, WC see spike in cases
President Cyril Ramaphosa has pleaded with South Africans to take precaution as rising cases in provinces such as the Eastern Cape pose a great danger to the country’s ability to fight the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramaphosa addressed the country on Wednesday night saying examples of rising cases in other countries, which have been experiencing a second-wave, should be a cautionary tale for the country.
He is also concerned about the dangers of the festive season which is fast approaching and often sees people travelling across the country.
What was also worrying was that the Eastern Cape had recorded a sharp rise in cases of 50% compared to the previous week. Other areas that have seen a rise in cases include the Free State and the Western Cape.
“These increases are being driven by massive spikes in the Nelson Mandela Metro and the Sarah Baartman District in particular. For the last month, there has been a sustained upward increase in hospital admissions in the province.
“The evidence suggests that the increases in the Eastern Cape could have been triggered by outbreaks in institutions of higher learning such as universities, schools and attendance by people at large gatherings,” Ramaphosa said.
As a contingency plan, Ramaphosa said efforts were underway to ramp-up contact tracing, testing and preparing healthcare facilities.
“In response to the rising infections, we are implementing the resurgence plan that has been developed together with the surge team deployed to South Africa by the World Health Organisation.
“Interventions include primary health care outreach teams to intensify contact tracing, daily community mobilisation, ensuring the readiness of health facilities, and being ready to respond to possible clusters outbreaks. We will be working closely with the provincial government, municipalities and other institutions in the Eastern Cape in the coming days and weeks to ensure that this surge is contained and managed,” he said.
The president said some of the rising cases had been linked to social gatherings and he has cautioned against the breaking of lockdown regulations.
“Of course with the festive season approaching it is understandable that we will want to be with family and friends. It has been a stressful and traumatic year. We want to socialise and connect with each other.”
He added that citizens should download the Covid-19 alert app which assists with contact tracing and infection monitoring.