The Matzikama municipality in the rural Western Cape says it has rescheduled the vaccination of the Kliprand community after many were found to be infected with COVID-19.

Municipality officials say they were in the area last week to vaccinate the over 60s when many tested positive for COVID-19.

The entire town is currently under quarantine.

Manager of Medical Services in Matzikana, Doctor Earlin Okhuis, says mass transmissions are not uncommon in very small communities.

“Because the community is so small transmission can progress quickly, this is not uncommon in small areas with community transmission. Our contact tracing teams are in contact with those affected, and the right thing to do with anyone who tested positive or who has been identified as a close contact is to isolate. Vaccinations for over 60’s have been rescheduled to give those who tested positive enough time to recover before getting vaccinated.”

Western Cape Health authorities say social gatherings are one of the main drivers behind the rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in the province.

Meanwhile, the Gift of the Givers is set to provide the rural town with much-needed humanitarian aid. Leaders of the town say quarantine has become difficult as people live in RDP houses, while the nearest isolation centre is hundreds of kilometres away.

Gift of the Givers’ Ali Sablay says residents are relying on outside support for water and food at the moment.

“There are no forms of food security in the area, it was alarming the rate of people going to bed hungry, and in terms of having proper PPE’s as well. Gift of the Givers will be sending an emergency response on Tuesday, we are providing the whole town with a food hamper, hygiene pack, sanitisers for each house as well as cloth masks. We will be donating bulk food to the local school and church, to provide meals for those families. The food hampers we will be giving will carry them through for the whole month.”

Half of the households have positive cases: