WC Health Dept concerned about impact of religious events on COVID-19 cases

The Western Cape Health Department's head of operations, Dr Saadiq Kariem, raised concerns about cluster infections.

A hospital worker and patient with COVID-19 in in the resuscitation room of the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - There's concern around the potential impact of upcoming religious festivals on COVID-19 infections.

The Western Cape Health Department's head of operations, Dr Saadiq Kariem explains: "We've got Easter coming up, in fact, we've also got Ramadan coming, and it's a huge concern for us. This is exactly what happened with the Tin Roof incident if you recall, and there were many others similar to that. We hit those clusters of infections, the crisis accumulated and eventually, we hit the second wave."

The country has already passed its second wave of infections and authorities are preparing for a third wave.

"The active cases in the Western Cape at the moment are 2,799 and jst to put that into perspective, towards the peak of the second wave in early January, we were averaging about 37,300 active cases."

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