WC lockdown? Winde to discuss options as province sees COVID-19 resurgence

The province's Health Department said that infections had been rising steadily since October and Cape Town had seen more than 2,000 infections in the last seven days.

FILE: Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said that he would meet with Cabinet on Friday to discuss measures to limit the movement of people as the number of COVID-19 cases increase.

The Western Cape is officially dealing with a resurgence of COVID-19.

The province's Health Department said that infections had been rising steadily since October and Cape Town had seen more than 2,000 infections in the last seven days.

With the number of COVID-19 infections increasing yet again, there are questions as to whether Premier Winde will consider a 'mini or district' lockdown or closing the borders.

Winde said that he would meet with Cabinet to discuss what practical solutions could be implemented, specifically where numbers were high.

"Right now, there is no mechanism to close down a border but that is what we will talk about on Friday - what are the tools on creating a sort of mini lockdown or a closing of down of a region to slow it [the virus] down."

He said that government would also increase law enforcement visibility to ensure that COVID-19 regulations were adhered to.

"We will definitely be looking at how do we ramp this up in places where people are not adhering to the rules, where we're seeing that congestion and no real management."

Winde stressed that the province could go into lockdown again, as the economy simply could not afford it.

'COVID-19 BASICALLY EVERYWHERE'

The Western Cape Government is concerned about a growing number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations.

That's when there's an increase of more than 20% on a weekly basis.

Provincial Head of Health Doctor Keith Cloete said that over the last week, there was a 52% jump in new COVID-19 cases.

He said that there was now established community transmission once again, which meant that it was spreading at a faster rate.

Cloete said that the growth was being driven in the Garden Route and the Cape Metro.

"It's basically everywhere in the metro, the increases are there, so therefore we have established that the resurgence in the metro is the biggest population and its the biggest risk for the whole province in terms of numbers of people."

He said that this week, both George and Knysna recorded the highest ever number of new COVID-19 cases, exceeding the peak of the first wave.

"The Mossel Bay team - 57 new patients, the active cases there are 392; the George area - 119 new patients with big numbers. Our biggest strain is in George, especially the George Hospital."

Cloete added that there had also been a rapid increase in hospitalisations and mortality rates were starting to rise.

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