Thousands of front-line workers have meanwhile been infected with the coronavirus.
THIRTY-ONE front-line workers in the Northern Cape, which includes medical workers and police officials, have died of Covid-19.
The announcement was made in a statement released by the Northern Cape Provincial Command Council, led by Premier Zamani Saul, on Monday.
The council met for the first time in the new year on Friday, January 15 to receive an update on the Covid-19 response in the Province as well as to assess compliance with the Level 3 lockdown regulations.
The council noted that thousands of front-line workers have been infected with the coronavirus.
“The Province notes that a total number of 1,444 health care workers have tested positive so far, of which 1,344 have recovered. Unfortunately, 16 have lost their lives to the pandemic. Of equal concern is the number of positive cases amongst South African Police Service (SAPS) officials, where a cumulative total of 992 cases were reported and a total recovery of 890 cases was reported. Sadly, a total number of 15 deaths were recorded,” said Saul.
“We send our sincerest condolences to the families who have lost loved ones and thank them for being at the front-line of the fight against Covid-19. These front-line members lost their lives while fighting an invisible enemy and deserve our respect and we regret the loss of life.”
Saul said that there had been a “sustained increase” in Covid cases in the Province, which has mainly been influenced by heightened activities over the festive season, such as parties and shopping; an increase in travelling, especially in the Namakwa area; non-compliance with Covid-19 regulations by some businesses and community members; and the opened beaches in the Namakwa area which have attracted more tourists.
“There were 3,722 new Covid-19 positive cases reported for the period January 1-14, 2021 … A seven-day comparative analysis depicts an increase of 44% in newly-detected cases: January 1-7, 2021 compared to January 8-14, 2021. The district with the highest seven-day increase is John Taolo Gaetsewe (83%) followed by Frances Baard (77%). Namakwa has seen record increases but is starting to show a steady decline in the percentage increase.”
Saul said that five areas – Kimberley, Springbok, Upington, Calvinia and De Aar – have been identified as potential hot spots in the Province.
“As from January 17, 2021 a total number of 186,930 people have been tested and 4,987,226 screenings have been done as we wage war against the pandemic,” Saul added.
He said that while the Province has a recovery rate of more than 80%, six new fatalities have been reported in the Province.
“The Province had a total of 29,558 cases, with a total recovery of 24,523 cases and a recovery rate of 83%, while there are 4,537 active cases. Unfortunately, six new cases have been reported of people that have succumbed to the virus. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved,” Saul said.
He said that the majority of fatalities were women.
“Characteristics of January Covid-19-related deaths show similar prominent comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. However, females constitute more compared to males, which is different compared to the general observation in previous months. With these new deaths the Province’s total cumulative deaths due to Covid-19 complications now stands at 496,” said Saul.
He said there was also a sharp increase in patients in intensive care units, with the majority of patients in ICU are on ventilators.
“As far as hospitalisation of patients admitted due to Covid-19 complications is concerned, there has been a slight decrease, with 169 total admissions compared to 178 at January 10, 2021. A sharp increase has been noted in ICU admissions, with 35 cases, while 24 of them are ventilated.”