A file picture of Prudence Mokgato Makgato getting tested for Covid-19 in Tshwane. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)
A file picture of Prudence Mokgato Makgato getting tested for Covid-19 in Tshwane. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Rush for tests on return from holidays could be attributed to decline in Covid-19 cases - Tshwane MMC

By Rapula Moatshe Time of article published Jan 22, 2021

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Pretoria - The rush for testing by people on return from holidays early this month could be attributed to a decline in new Covid-19 cases in Tshwane.

Health MMC Sakkie du Plooy said multitudes of people underwent testing because they were worried about their Covid-19 status after they had been outside the province during the festive season.

"The more people tested the more positive cases were discovered. In one of the laboratories in Tshwane there was at one stage 45% of positive cases reported among those who underwent testing," he said.

Following massive testing, the infections subsequently dropped but the death rate continued to be on the increase, said Du Plooy.

"The rate of deaths is not equally coming down. Some of the people who tested positive die a week or two weeks later. So the deaths we see today are for people who fell ill a week or so ago."

He, however, said it was expected that the death rate would go down in 10 days.

Du Plooy was speaking to the Pretoria News in the wake of the reports that for five consecutive days, the City reported a lower number of new cases.

The cases had moved from 1 661 from January 14 to 918 as of Monday.

The other good news was that the situation in hospitals seemed to have improved, he said.

He pleaded with people to ease pressure on healthcare facilities by keeping safe at all times.

"How can you help the situation at the hospitals? The answer is very simply: Don't become a patient. Keep yourself safe so that you don't need to be taken by ambulance to hospital and find that there is no bed for you."

He emphasised the importance for people to not let their guard down during the pandemic.

"Let us not relax. The virus is as dangerous as before. The virus is not relaxing. I am happy that it is now the sixth time in a row that we are having the diminishing number of new cases."

He advised young people not put pressure on their friends to socialise and break Covid-19 protocols.

"We can't afford to be social like we used to be. I can imagine it is difficult for young people. They need friends, and the ones who stay home are now rejected by the group. There is group pressure also in this thing," du Plooy said.

The City had embarked on awareness programmes which included the importance of complying to Covid-19 regulations using community radios.

"I think one of the positive things that we did was to create more and more awareness. Our awareness programme is really bearing fruits. I was talking to community radio and spread(ing) the word to the man on the street," du Plooy said.

Pretoria News

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