Covid-19 cases on the rise in the far south

Washing of hands with soap is vital in the fight against the spread of Covid-19.

The Cape metro saw a 65% increase in new Covid-19 cases last week, say health authorities.

Provincial Department of Health spokeswoman Natalie Watlington says hospital admissions for Covid-19 are rising rapidly and active cases in the southern suburbs are close to the numbers encountered earlier this year during the first wave.

Rapid outbreaks, she says, are being seen in Grassy Park, Lotus River, Retreat, Rondebosch, Ottery and Plumstead while there were ongoing outbreaks in Ocean View, Wynberg, Claremont, Masiphumelele, Pelican Park, Strandfontein and Steenberg.

New outbreaks have been noted in Fish Hoek, Kenilworth and Mowbray.

The metro reported 23 more deaths in the past week.

Dr Liesel Rossouw, False Bay Hospital’s acting CEO, said they had seen a spike in Covid-19 admissions, including those needing higher levels of care.

“We are currently seeing a daily increase of an average of 52 to 72 patients in casualty with respiratory illness compared to a daily average of 22 patients per day two weeks ago.”

Last week, she said, the hospital had had 383 respiratory patients seen in casualty, compared to 154 two weeks ago.

Ms Watlington said the top-three sources of infections were people at home getting it from a family member, people attending social gatherings and people getting it in their place of work.

“All residents in these areas must do their part so that we can bring the situation under control,” she said.

Covid-19 testing, she said, was available during the week at any provincial government health facility.

These include Grassy Park and Lotus River clinics, from 10am to 1pm; Lady Michaelis clinic, Monday to Thursday, from 7.20am to 1.30pm, and, on Friday, from 7.30am to noon; Hout Bay clinic, by appointment only, from 2pm daily; Retreat day hospital, on weekdays and public holidays, from 10am to noon, and, after hours, Monday to Friday, from 4pm to 6pm; and False Bay Hospital from 8am to 4pm.

In an address to the nation on Monday December 14, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced tighter level 1 lockdown restrictions nationwide.

This as the country enters the festive season amid a second wave of rising Covid-19 infections. On Monday evening, the country’s total number of cases was 866 127.

“If we do not do things differently this festive season, we will greet the new year not with joy, but with sorrow. Many of our friends, relatives and co-workers will be infected, some will get severely ill and some, tragically, will die,” he said.

For more information about the new level 1 restrictions, visit www.gov.za

Steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Wash your hands frequently