Authorities optimistic as EC coronavirus cases decline

The provincial health department is on Monday reporting a 31% drop week-on-week in new infections.

FILE: Picture: 123rf.

CAPE TOWN - Health authorities in the Eastern Cape say they were cautiously optimistic about a decline in COVID -19 infection rates.

The provincial health department is on Monday reporting a 31% drop week-on-week in new infections.

But more than 1,800 people are still in hospital being treated for COVID-19.

President Cyril Ramaphosa declared Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman districts hotspots and put in place further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.

Provincial health authorities say there’d been a marked decrease in new COVID-19 cases being reported in hotspot areas.

Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha said: “The Nelson Mandela Bay and Sarah Baartman districts had a significant decrease in the number of new cases.”

Even though it's an improvement, the province recorded 1,276 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.

The bulk of those are in Buffalo City Metro, Chris Hani and the OR Tambo District.

Nelson Mandela Bay - the runaway hotspot up until recently - makes up just more than 8% of the total.

Health officials are particularly concerned about the increase in the test positivity rate among healthcare workers in the metros.

In total, more than 6,000 people in the Eastern Cape have died from the disease, while nearly 140,000 have recovered.

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