File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)
File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Limpopo Health MEC expresses concern over rising Covid-19 cases

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published May 10, 2020

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Polokwane - Limpopo Health MEC Phophi Ramathuba on Sunday expressed concern at the rapid rise in confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the province. 

The MEC appealed to people across the province to observe the Covid-19 lockdown regulations and rules imposed by the national government in a bid to curb the spread of the disease. 

"Let's continue to observe the rules and regulations as mandated by our government," she said in a statement. "Washing your hands with soap or using an alcohol-based sanitiser, observing social distancing, wearing face masks or cloth in public, and staying at home must remain our daily practice. By so doing, we can avoid the spread of this virus,” Ramathuba said.  

Limpopo recorded its first confirmed Covid-19 case on March 16. The health department has said that since then the number of confirmed cases has been gradually increasing. 

“For the first time in 24 hours, we recorded an increase of eight cases. This has been attributed to the transition from [lockdown] level five to level four, inter-provincial window period movements of people, and most critical resumption of operations by mines, especially around Sekhukhune and Waterberg.  

“To date, 54 cases have been recorded cumulatively, with 30 recoveries and 21 cases remaining active and in isolation. One patient is admitted in ICU [intensive care unit]. This is a 66-year-old [man] who was diagnosed and admitted in a facility in Gauteng, and his daughter fetched him. He was discovered by our tracer teams while at his home with severe respiratory distress. He is a known patient in Gauteng with co-morbidities. We wish him a speedy recovery," the statement said. 

Meanwhile, the Limpopo education department has requested school management teams (SMT) not to report for duty on Monday as planned, because all safety measures in terms of Covid-19 regulations have not yet been completed. 

On April 30, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced plans for the possible re-opening of schools in a phased-in approach, starting with grades seven and 12 on June 1, the Limpopo education department said in a statement on Sunday.

At the time, Motshekga also announced that SMTs should report for duty on May 11 to start with preparations for phasing in the two grades. 

On Saturday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in South Africa stood at 9420 - an increase of 525 over the previous day.

"We are saddened to report eight new deaths, seven from the Western Cape and one from KwaZulu-Natal," Mkhize said.

"We have also been advised that one of the deceased was a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town. We pay special tribute to this health worker. We express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and thank the healthcare workers who looked after these patients," he said.

The latest reported deaths brought the total to 186. The total number of recoveries had also increased, to 3983. 

African News Agency/ANA

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