Bojanala District is NW's COVID-19 epicentre, MEC visits Hartbeespoort

Ten of the North West's 23 cases are in Rustenburg, and on Thursday Health MEC Madoda Sambatha has visited Hartbeespoort during a screening campaign in residential estates.

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BRITS, North West – Rustenburg is the North West province’s COVID-19 epicentre, with 10 of the 24 cases in the province recorded in the mining town that falls under the Bojanala Platinum District Municipality.

On Thursday, Health MEC Madoda Sambatha visited Hartbeespoort, where talk of the province’s first COVID-19 patient emerged - before there was an official report of any cases, as part of the continued screening drive across the province.

As at Thursday evening, the number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is at 2,605; 24 of those are in the North West and, according to the provincial Department of Health, 15 cases are in the Bojanala district.

At least four cases have been reported in Hartbeespoort, and one in Brits.

Earlier this month, Sambatha launched the screening and testing drive. In a letter seen by Eyewitness News, the manager in the department’s Madibeng sub-district office asks for permission to enter gated communities in Hartbeespoort.

On Thursday, the MEC visited Xanadu Eco Park in Hartbeespoort, where residents were invited to undergo screening.

Sambatha said more than 300,000 people had been screened.

“Without the dedication and commitment of the healthcare workers, we would not be able to have screen the number that we have screened - above 300,000 - in the province.”

At least two of the four Hartbeespoort cases reportedly live in residential estates in the Broederstroom area.

Meanwhile, on Monday, Deputy Health Minister Joe Phaahla visited the province after a doctor in Klerksdorp tested positive for the coronavirus and was found to have been in contact with at least 100 people while working at three private hospitals.

“The gynaecologist is based in three facilities, including Wilmed Park hospital. This gynaecologist's number of contacts, which are workers, is 44, and they had already been contacted by contact tracers. Patients to this doctor are 56 in all these facilities.”

Sambatha said a decision would be made on individual cases to see whether they could self-isolate or have to be taken to state quarantine facilities.

“Amongst them, four have already been taken to a facility because they confirmed that they are staying with more than six people, so self-isolation was never going to be possible."

Editor's Note: Please note that at the time of publication, the number of infections in the North West - according to the national stats released by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Thursday night - was at 24 and that the embedded tweet by the North West health department is from earlier in the day.