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WC records 1,700 more COVID infections in 24 hrs

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his national address on Thursday, highlighted the Garden Route as an area of concern.

Hospital capacity is under severe pressure in the Western Cape. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape was on Saturday dealing with more than 12,400 active COVID-19 cases.

About 1,700 more infections were recorded on Friday in a 24-hour period.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in his national address on Thursday, highlighted the Garden Route as an area of concern.

On Friday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize visited the Garden Route area where he met with Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo and district mayors to discuss the challenges faced due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

Leaders in the Garden Route district met with Mkhize where he listened to their concerns and challenges as they respond to the virus.

The minister said another issue that was brought up was the movement of people between the Eastern Cape and Western Cape and the Garden route's popularity with tourists, which means more people would be visiting the area.

Mkhize recommended that the two premiers discuss the matter.

He also noted concerns around hospital capacity that was under severe pressure as well as the increase in health workers being infected with the virus.

“We have offered wherever assistance is needed, we need to deal with it. Because the problem of healthcare workers shortages is something that is going to be with us."

George mayor Leon Van Wyk said things were “pretty challenging” at the moment.

“Our health services are overrun at this stage - these areas will face a fair amount of pressure in the coming weeks as holiday makers move into the area. So it's important that citizens apply all the COVID protocols."

Van Wyk added that many businesses that operated in the region receive 25 to 30% of their annual turnover during the festive season and the economy couldn’t do without that business.

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