Freddy Lehubye gets tested for Covid-19 in Nina Park during the City of Tshwane's outreach campaign. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Freddy Lehubye gets tested for Covid-19 in Nina Park during the City of Tshwane's outreach campaign. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in Tshwane

By Nokwanda Ncwane Time of article published Nov 24, 2021

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Pretoria - The number of new Covid-19 cases in Tshwane has continued to rise sharply, with Pretoria West, Atteridgeville, Centurion, Hatfield, Mamelodi East, Soshanguve and Hammanskraal identified as hotspots.

According to the city council’s latest Covid-19 report, active cases have increased to 1 689 as of Monday.

Last week’s number was 362, while the capital recorded 383 new cases on Monday.

Melanie Langeveldt of the City of Tshwane said the sharp increase in new confirmed Covid-19 cases could be due to the fact that residents became more relaxed during the level 1 lockdown based on the low daily confirmed cases observed at the time.

This resulted in a more relaxed approach to social gatherings.

The low number of community members presenting for vaccination can also be a contributory factor as not sufficient numbers are vaccinated to ensure community protection.

Langeveldt said the sharp increase was being closely monitored and community members were encouraged to continue adhering to non-pharmaceutical measures to prevent the spread of the virus such as wearing of masks, hand sanitisation and practising social distancing.

“Community members are encouraged to present for screening and testing if they have any symptoms.

“They are required to quarantine until the results are available.

“Free screening and testing is available at all primary health care clinics as well as the mobile unit allocated to the ward-based battle plan – the sites where the mobile team is allocated are shared on various social media platforms,” she said.

“Contact tracing teams are allocated to identified cluster outbreak areas to test the close contacts of the confirmed Covid-19 positive cases. o ensure that all positive cases are isolated and in so doing reducing the spread of the virus.”

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) noted the spike in Covid-19 cases in Gauteng, more especially in the Tshwane region.

NICD acting executive director Professor Adrian Puren said they had observed an increase in the seven-day moving average of new Covid-19 cases, and the percentage testing positive in Gauteng, particularly in Tshwane, among the 10 to 29 age group over the past week.

“Localised increases in case numbers or clusters are not unexpected, however, it is hard to say whether the increases indicate the start of a widespread resurgence,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tshwane University of Technology’s arts campus in Pretoria Central has also recorded an outbreak of Covid-19 cases.

University spokesperson Phaphama Tshisikhawe said the cluster outbreak may have been caused by the high infections reported in Gauteng, as the institution was not isolated from its surrounding communities.

“Reports started coming through from November 16, which informed our resolve to suspend all activities. A reported 54 students and one staff member have thus far tested positive.”

The Pretoria News reported earlier that the fourth wave in Gauteng was expected in mid-December to early January.

Pretoria News

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