Eastern Cape braces for new surge even as Covid-19 numbers subside

Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba said the attitudes of people living in the province would determine whether another surge in Covid-19 infections was experienced.
Eastern Cape health MEC Sindiswa Gomba said the attitudes of people living in the province would determine whether another surge in Covid-19 infections was experienced.
Image: FILE

The provincial government has warned the Eastern Cape is yet to reach its peak in coronavirus infections, with health MEC Sindiswa Gomba on Tuesday saying that would be determined by people's attitudes.

Gomba said the Eastern Cape was not yet out of the woods even though premier Oscar Mabuyane announced the number of critically ill Covid-19 patients had decreased in August. The province had recorded 84,144 cases by Tuesday evening, with 2,800 deaths and 79,947 recoveries.

Gomba said they were still bracing for a surge, which was predicted between August and September.

“We are ready for it, but the problem is that we are not aware when the peak will be. It will go with the attitudes of our people. What we can say is that people are now becoming familiar with Covid-19.”

Mabuyane and his MECs updated the media on the work done to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Bhisho. He said this week's data showed the number of hospitalisations, isolations and patients on ventilators in intensive care and needing high care was decreasing.

The premier said 79% of deaths related to Covid-19 in the province occurred between June and July, with 7.8% of deaths in August, “which is another indication that the worst of the Covid-19 storm has passed”.

“We continue to see signs that the end of the tunnel is nearing in the fight against Covid-19 in our province. The provincial government is pleased to announce the decline in new infections means many people in our province are playing their part and helping us to reduce the spread,” he said.

Mabuyane said 2.8 million people had been screened. “The number of coronavirus tests conducted by public and private sector labs has decreased in the recent past.”

However, even as Mabuyane painted a picture of the province beating the virus, he warned of a second wave of infections.

“That is why we continue to strengthen our containment and mitigation measures. We are now ensuring the readiness and suitability of each of the critical-care satellite hub facilities, as well as consolidating data management and health information initiatives.

“The provincial treasury and the department of health are putting together investment options for the coronavirus response and beyond.”

Mabuyane said lifestyle audits in the public service would become standard practice to fight corruption. However, he did not provide details about the lifestyle audits being done on him, his cabinet members and their spouses.

Mabuyane welcomed an SIU investigation into Covid-19 procurement corruption.

— HeraldLIVE


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