Head of the department of health Dr Keith Cloet. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Head of the department of health Dr Keith Cloet. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Fourteen family members contract Covid-19 as resurgence is confirmed in the province

By Velani Ludidi Time of article published May 13, 2021

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Cape Town - Fourteen family members who attended a party in Mossel Bay tested positive for Covid-19. This was revealed by the head of the health department, Dr Keith Cloete, as he confirmed that the Western Cape is experiencing a resurgence as cases begin to spike.

“Numbers of daily new Covid-19 cases are starting to increase again. We are now seeing on average 170 new diagnoses each day and there has been a 39% week on week increase.

“The Cape Winelands, Garden Route and West Coast, in particular, are seeing an increase in cases. The main area of concern is Mossel Bay, with 177% increase– 14 family members got infected after attending a party.”

Dr Cloete did not want to reveal when exactly the 14 family members contracted the virus, but reports suggest that it was last weekend.

“We would like to respect the people and not reveal more information about them.”

Admissions and deaths are also increasing slightly, but the absolute numbers are still small. On average the province is having 29 admissions and four deaths each day.

“With the public holiday 7 to 14 days ago, we are expecting to see an increase in cases week on week, as we are comparing a week of five full days of testing to a week of only four days. But the increases seen now are larger than expected,” added Dr Cloete.

The Sisonke vaccine trial is coming to an end this Saturday and Dr Cloete moved to explain that there are no expiring vaccines.

“The trial comes to an end, not the vaccine. There are no expiring vaccines.”

About 30 000 doses of Pfizer are expected to arrive today and roll-out to begin on Monday.

Premier Alan Winde has pleaded with citizens to follow health guidelines to avoid going into the third wave, which could lead to tighter restrictions being implemented.

“We are experiencing a resurgence which could lead to a third wave. I do not support tighter restrictions and I do not believe we need to change the restrictions. I see people seem not to worry (about following health protocols), which may then require me to change my tune when I argue about restrictions. We all need to play our part.”

Winde added that his government has put in place a comprehensive vaccine roll-out plan to ensure that they are ready for the mass vaccination programme.

“Our key focus next week will be to use the first tranche of 33 900 vaccines available to us to vaccinate those registered in old-age homes across the Western Cape. This will be done at old-age homes, on-site. Some 17 000 people living in old-age homes have already registered and are on the database. We will also focus on vaccinating remaining health-care workers using the Pfizer vaccine as part of phase 1b – as the Sisonke trial will have come to an end.”

Weekend Argus

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