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Health dept increases testing, tracing in attempt to flatten Covid-19 curve in NC

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As the Northern Cape is in the midst of a Covid-19 resurgence, the provincial Department of Health has indicated that it has increased its testing as well as contract tracing in an attempt to flatten the curve.

File image. Picture: Bongani Mbatha /African News Agency (ANA)

AS THE Northern Cape is in the midst of a Covid-19 resurgence, the provincial Department of Health has indicated that it has increased its testing as well as contract tracing in an attempt to flatten the curve.

Department spokesperson, Lebogang Majaha said the MEC of Health, Maruping Lekwene has urged residents to remain on high alert during the resurgence.

Majha said a spike in infections were recorded in the month of May.

“In terms of comparative analysis, statistics indicate that the Province is in a resurgence phase. This can be clearly noted from the week ending on the May 2, 2021, wherein we had 1086 new cases in comparison to 1818 new cases in the week ending on May 9, 2021.

“This signals an increase of 68% week on week. Exactly when the science will confirm the Province is in the third wave, is still not clear. It can be noted that the department has increased contact tracing and testing for Covid-19. In the week ending on May 2, 2021, 5278 tests were conducted and again 6985 in the week ending on May 9, 2021. This represents a 32% increase in testing and the testing rate increased for 429 per 100000 to 567 per 100000,” said Majaha.

He said the highest number of infections were recorded in the Frances Baard and John Taolo Gaetsewe districts.

“The department assigned its District Incidence team to deal with the potential resurgence in cases in Namakwa District. This intervention resulted in Namakwa recording the lowest daily infections in the last two weeks. However, Frances Baard and John Taolo Gaetsewe Districts, which have the highest population densities, are now showing significant resurgence.

“A lot of positive lessons have been learnt from previous experiences in scaling up contact tracing, screening and testing towards reducing the rate of transmissions and flattening the curve,” he said.

He urged residents to continue to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations.

“We are hopeful that the 3rd wave might not be as bad as the 2nd wave, however with the new variants whose presence have been identified in South Africa, bring uncertainty as to how it will affect us in the Province. The MEC urges communities to remain calm and do what is right by adhering to Covid-19 protocols,” Majaha said.