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Spike in Covid-19 cases in N Cape concerns Saul


Sol Plaatje municipal area considered to be a high-risk infection area, says premier

Northern Cape Premier Zamani Saul. File picture

THE PREMIER of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, has expressed concern over the drastic increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases in the Province. 

“The Province still has the lowest number of confirmed cases in the country. As at yesterday (Thursday), the number of confirmed positive cases stands at 318, which accounts for 0.3 percent of the active cases in the country. The total number of recoveries is 112 and one death,” the premier said on Friday.

Saul added that 13, out of a total of 22, health care workers who were infected with Covid-19 had recovered as at June 19. 

“Mass screenings, active case finding and contact tracing remain key to the prevention of rapid infections. The tracing rate among identified contacts is almost 100 percent with only two contacts that could not be traced in March among the first cases, but tracing has since improved with all efforts being employed to trace every close contact.” 

Saul believed that successful tracing was one of the critical interventions in halting the spread of Covid-19 that could have resulted in larger community outbreaks. 

“More than 1.7 million screenings have been conducted and 21 564 tests have been done in the Province.” 

He stated that the Sol Plaatje municipal area was considered to be a high-risk infection area with a total number of 68 positive cases.

“Umsobomvu Municipality is extremely high risk with a total of 76 cases. We call on everyone to abide by the Covid-19 protocols and minimise movement, especially interprovincially, and to wear face masks at all times,” added Saul.

He noted that there was a spike in infections following the opening of schools in the Province, where six schools were closed due to Covid-19 infections. 

“These schools are mainly located within the Pixley ka Seme District, where mass testing is currently under way by the Department of Health.

“We are monitoring the situation very closely and ensuring that all systems are in place at schools.” 

Saul pointed out that the closures of the six schools were not as a result of a break-out of Covid-19 infections.

“It is rather individual cases that were reported. The closures of these schools are in relation to our standard operating procedures. Some of the schools have received the results of their contact traces, which came back negative, and therefore the Department of Education is preparing for these schools to reopen.” 

He added that schools were immediately disinfected as soon as a positive case was reported.

“We will further determine whether staff or pupils at the affected schools will require psycho-social support and assist in this regard. We wish to encourage all our school communities, especially our educators, parents and pupils to continue to practise good hygiene and social distancing at home, whilst always wearing your mask. This will contribute significantly to limit the spread of Covid-19 or contracting the virus.”