File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA)

Nearly 50% of Eastern Cape residents who died at home had Covid-19

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Cape Town – Nearly half the number of people who died at their homes were found to have had Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape, Provincial Health Department acting superintendent-general Sibongile Zungu said on Wednesday.

"We tested 363 bodies and at this point almost half were positive," Zungu said.

She made the statement when she was briefing the health portfolio committee on Covid-19 and related health matters.

In her report to the committee, Zungu said all the remains of people who died at home should be tested for Covid-19.

"Home Affairs is allowed to accept notification form, traditional leaders, with proof of C19 testing done in health facilities," she said.

Zungu said the issuing death certificates did not wait for the results.

She said since the policy was introduced, the Eastern Cape implemented it around October last year due to logistics.

Her report showed that out of the 363 bodies tested, 161 tested positive and 202 negative.

"This has led us to trace and track contacts and intervene where we have to intervene."

Zungu also said since the beginning of the month, 292 exam markers have tested positive in the province.

She said those infected were sent home and replacements brought in.

"So far there was no disruption of exam marking. The replacements underwent rapid tests to minimise super spreader events," she said.

According to Zungu, 456 circumcision initiates have tested positive for the virus after 10 354 underwent the tests.

Those that tested positive were: 309 from the Chris Hani District; Buffalo City 43; Amathole 48; OR Tambo 29; Alfred Nzo 21; Sarah Baartman 5; and Joe Gqabo one.

Zungu said there was no incident of circumcision death-related to Covid-19 or admission-related to the virus, and that 1 755 illegal initiates were found.

She further highlighted that hospital admissions were for different reasons such as dehydration and sepsis, among others adding that 13 initiates and a traditional medical surgeon have died with three initiates from unnatural causes due to gunshot wounds.

Political Bureau

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