Western Cape community goes under quarantine

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A small, very rural town in the Matzikamma Municipality of the Western Cape is battling the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The entire town of Kliprand is under quarantine after around 10% of the population tested positive.

Cut off from the outside world, the local school principal is helping to coordinate efforts to bring relief in this dire situation.

Kliprand is a tiny rural community of around 250 people in the far northern corner of the Western Cape.  For 15 months, the 50 households managed to avoid the pandemic. But eventually COVID-19 found its way to the tiny community.

In a matter of a week, life went from peaceful to 30 infections and three deaths.  The entire town is now under lockdown as a desperate measure to prevent further spread.

Local Primary School Principal, Arrie Cloete, says: “We have limited resources at the moment and this make us, make it more difficult to cope with. So if there’s anyone outside who can help us, with any resources, anything, you’re welcome and our community members at the moment they are a bit scared because they do not know what will happen next.

They are scared about tomorrow because no one knows when tomorrow comes, we already have 3 fatal cases and our motto at the moment is stay safe and keep on going and I do hope we will overcome this pandemic through our saviour.”

Half of the households have positive cases:

It’s estimated that half the households have an active COVID-19 case under their roof.

Quarantine is proving difficult as people live in small RDP homes, while the nearest isolation facility is hundreds of kilometres away.

The nearest town is Vredendal – 150 kilometers away on a bad gravel road.  Reverend Pedro Oktober from the Uniting Reformed Church in Vredendal says they are trying to assist as best they can.

“The only shop there is closed, the soup kitchen is closed, the only Cape Agri cooperative is partly closed, all due of COVID, all of the 50 households are in isolation due to the outbreak of COVID, school is also closed, three persons died and will be buried this weekend.  The community is in dire need of food and water.”

Kliprand residents are appealing for help and can be reached via Facebook.

Reverend Oktober is also asking for prayers for the community as it navigates through what he describes as ‘its hour of darkness’.