The Western Cape Health Department has expressed concern over the non-adherence to protective behaviour amongst some members of the public.

During his recent address to the nation, President Cyril Ramaphosa mentioned the Cape Metro and the Garden Route as those experiencing higher than average rates of new COVID-19 infections. The number of people admitted to hospital has increased in the Garden Route.

People walking along the popular promenade in Mouille Point, near Cape Town, appear to have forgotten that COVID-19 still exists. Most of them are not wearing masks.

The wearing of mask is still regarded as crucial among protectives measures against the deadly virus.

The Western Cape government says outbreaks in the big metros are settling down, with a few super spreader events that have since been contained. Rural areas, however, are now showing and upswing in numbers.

The greatest concern at the moment is the rapid increase of cases over the last week in the Garden Route. There is also a slight increase in Khayelitsha.

Provincial Premier Alan Winde has reiterated his call for joint efforts in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

“We need to make sure that whenever we do see these numbers increasing, that we manage to bring them down again under control. I’ve just mentioned about the economy opening up and we desperately need to do that, but we need citizens. Remember the deal. We’ve got to make sure we work together, government and citizens working together along with business making sure that we’re doing it safely, doing it responsibly. We are remembering the golden rules as well as the three c’s so that we can show the world that we can manage this as a threat of probably in the next month and a half or so, a second wave, just like it’s happening in other parts of the world. And we really, really have to keep a close eye and watch on that.”

Western Cape government concerned about relaxed vigilance against COVID-19:

The head of the Provincial Health Department, Dr Keith Cloete, says it’s important to adhere to all safety measures aimed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

“Think about smart choices. Inviting people over, keep your gatherings small and outdoors and make sure that the distance is maintained. So these are practical things. The point of our campaign is we know we’re opening the economy, we know we’re opening that there’s gatherings. The big challenge here is we need to actually get everyone to work towards a new norm of gathering safely.”

People have expressed different views about the pandemic.

“It’s kind of 50 50 in my mind; rather take the chances with COVID. It’s not like it’s a death sentence, but (luckily) international vaccine is being found. You need to weigh up COVID pandemic or economic pandemic. I would rather avoid economic pandemic. I think everybody must be concerned. If we look at what happened earlier, an increase in Europe, it would be naive if we think it won’t come here one way or another. So, mask on. If you don’t contribute, we are all going to be a statistics. I feel like people are over stressing the situation,” one person said.

Members of the public are encouraged to avoid large gatherings, especially indoor spaces where there is no ventilation, to always wear masks and to maintain social distance.

Nelson Mandela Bay warning

The Department of Health is sending out urgent messages to citizens of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to adhere to the rules and regulations of the lockdown. In his address to the nation this week, Ramaphosa warned that the metro was becoming the epicentre of the pandemic in country.

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro becomes the epicentre for COVID-19 infections in SA:

District Manager of Nelson Mandela Bay Health, Darlene De Vos, has urged people who have been in contact with someone COVID-positive to stay home.

“The Department of Health requests that should you be a contact of a confirmed positive client, that you do not leave your home to go to a health facility to get tested. An outreach team will come to you at your home and screen you, and if needs be, they will test you. Should you leave your home, you are posing a risk to the rest of the community and you will, therefore, be transmitting the disease.”

– Additional reporting by Kim Daniels.