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One in 50 test positive for Covid-19 in Cape Flats' worst-hit district

Dave Chambers Cape Town bureau chief
Gugulethu is part of the health subdistrict where about 1 in 50 people have tested positive for Covid-19.
Gugulethu is part of the health subdistrict where about 1 in 50 people have tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: Arena Holdings archive

One in 50 people in part of the Cape Flats have now tested positive for Covid-19.

Western Cape government infection statistics on Friday showed that the Klipfontein health subdistrict, which includes the densely populated communities of Nyanga, Gugulethu and Delft, had 7,624 confirmed cases.

This means the subdistrict, with a population of about 380,000, has recorded more infections than four provinces — the Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

However, 6,336 of Klipfontein's Covid-19 patients have recovered, meaning the proportion of active cases is about 15%. It is impossible to calculate this figure accurately because mortality figures are only issued for the entire Western Cape, not for each health subdistrict.

Premier Alan Winde reported a provincial total of 83,480 confirmed infections on Friday, with 2,543 deaths (3.05%) and 67,181 recoveries (80.5%).

The number of active cases (13,756) has dropped by 22% since it peaked at 17,612 on July 6, and there is cautious optimism that the Western Cape is headed in the right direction in its fight to rein in the pandemic.

Doctors Without Borders, which operates a field hospital in the Thusong Centre next to Khayelitsha District Hospital, announced this week that it was halving its bed count to 30 and sending some of its staff to the Eastern Cape, where infections are still rising sharply.

The key “doubling rate” for new infections in the Western Cape is about 32 days, compared with about 15 days for SA as a whole and about 12 days for Gauteng.

Winde said 4,198 people had been admitted to quarantine and isolation facilities since the start of the pandemic, with 606 currently in isolation and 201 in quarantine.