A boy not wearing a face mask plays next to a Covid-19 awareness mural in Soweto. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso
A boy not wearing a face mask plays next to a Covid-19 awareness mural in Soweto. Picture: Bhekikhaya Mabaso

NICD raises alarm over spike in Covid-19 cases in three provinces

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Apr 21, 2021

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DURBAN - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has sounded the alarm after observing a spike in Covid-19 cases in at least three provinces.

On Wednesday, the NICD reported that there has been an upsurge in cases in the Northern Cape, North West and Free State.

The senior epidemiologist at the NICD, Dr Harry Moultrie, said a team was working with these provinces to ascertain whether the rise in cases was a result of cluster outbreaks.

He said the team has recommend increased testing and contact tracing to contain the situation and limit further spread.

Moultrie said with the April school holiday season on the horizon and many people planning to travel and the possibility of social gatherings, it was important that people complied with Covid-19 safety protocols: wearing masks, maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 metres from others, and washing hands or using a hand sanitiser.

“Where possible, social activities should take place outdoors or in well-ventilated areas/rooms with open windows and doors, as proper ventilation plays an important role in reducing transmission,” he said.

The NICD’s acting executive director, Professor Adrian Puren, reassured the public that the NCID was monitoring the situation and would keep communities informed of new developments.

According to the latest statistics from the Health Ministry, the Northern Cape’s cumulative cases increased to 38 183, the North West’s increased to 66 023 and the Free State’s increased to 86 202.

To date, South Africa has recorded a total of 1 568 366 Covid-19 cases, 53 887 deaths and 1 494 630 recoveries.

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