A look at the Western Cape Covid-19 hotspots and the province's plan to curb infections
Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde says the Western Cape was ready to move from level 4 of the lockdown to level 3, following what he calls a targeted response to dealing with coronavirus hotspots.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Western Cape had recorded 11 810 confirmed cases with 5 898 being active cases and 5 677 recoveries.
The province has recorded 235 deaths. It is the epicentre of the country's coronavirus caseload with most cases and deaths emanating from the province.
With these statistics, Winde and the DA have spoken strongly for the province to be allowed to move to level 3 when most parts of the country are expected to do so.
President Cyril Ramaphosa had stressed during his address to the nation last week that easing to level 3 was subject to whether an area was considered a hotspot. If cases there continued to rise then those areas would likely remain on level 4.
Questions have arisen whether the Western Cape would be justified to move along with the rest of the country, beacuse of its rapidly rising cases and deaths.
Wind believes the province can. The premier has issued what he calls a "whole government approach targeted hotspot plan".
The plan looks to target areas where the spread of the virus has continued to increase sharply. The plan entails focusing on increasing capacity on health which will include increasing screening and testing.
The other responses deal with ensuring that businesses comply through the economic response. The province also plans to focus on transportation and ensuring compliance along with the limited movement of people.
Other responses include; places and spaces, resources management and food security and human settlements.
The Western Cape's hotspot areas so far which will be targeted by the plan include the following Cape Town subdistricts:
In Khayelitsha, where 1 673 cases were reported by May 20, the hotspot is centred around the local business hubs. The areas around the Mew Way Spar and Ntlazane Road, in particular, have seen a high number of infections.
In the Tygerberg district which had 1 918 cases by May 20, Bellville, Elsies River and Delft - all areas which are densely populated - are responsible for the bulk of the Covid-19 cases.
In the Klipfontein district, which by May 20 had reported 1 451 positive cases, Gugulethu and Nyanga are the hotspots with Langa also showing of large numbers of infections. Surrey Estate and Gatesville, which has a large number of retail and industrial businesses, have also had a significant number of positive cases.
In the Hout Bay area (Southern district) where 1 339 positive cases where reported as of May 20, the area between Valley Road and Berg-en-Dal, which includes the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement, is responsible for the highest concentration of Covid-19 cases. Nearby, Belle Ombre has also seen an increase in cases.
Western (1 283)
Mitchells Plain (1 205)
Eastern (1 074)
The Witzenberg (214 cases) and Drakenstein districts in the Cape Winelands have been identified as prioritised rural hotspot areas. Tulbagh, Ceres, Nduli and Bella Vista have recorded the largest numbers of cases.
How the hotspot strategy will work:
1. In areas with established community transmission, the province will use a risk-stratified case management approach.
2. Patients who are unable to be quarantined at home will be identified for admission to designated isolation and quarantine facilities but, in light of the testing capacity challenges which the country is facing, viable and feasible community-based isolation models will be explored.
3. Behaviour changes in hotspot areas where people gather will be widely instituted and driven by awareness campaigns to promote physical distancing, hand and surface hygiene and universal mask-wearing.
4. In local community spaces, proactive and adaptive responses will be put in place (in each of the local areas).
5. The rate of increase of transmission rates per ward and suburb to be tracked over the next 6-8 weeks.
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** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit sacoronavirus.co.za