[imagesource: Gerrit Jordaan]
I would like to think that many South Africans agree with our alert level system, at least in theory.
We can’t simply “open up the economy”, as people love to scream from the rafters, and a phased-in approach is necessary to ensure that we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system with a massive spike at any given time.
When it comes to how the alert level system works in practice, things become a little murkier, and some of the rules and regulations in place seem to have been thumb-sucked from thin air.
Take the recent lockdown clothing rules announcement earlier in the week, which included such nonsense as stores only being able to sell shoes if they are “closed toe,” and short-sleeved shirts if they are promoted or displayed to be worn under jackets or jerseys.
More on that here.
As was made clear from his previous address almost three weeks prior to last night, alert levels may differ from province to province, or metropole to metropole, depending on the risk factor present in that area.
A reminder of the definition of our different alert levels:
So, how are we looking here in the Western Cape, and Cape Town in particular?
For the bad news, let’s head to the Presidency’s official Twitter account last night, and this graph, tweeted out during Ramaphosa’s address:
That’s the graph to worry about, friends.
I’ll do you a solid and get in closer on that red area:
Yeah, that’s the city, alright.
Come the end of May, it appears that the Western Cape, or at least certain areas within the province, may remain on alert level 4.
We’ve outlined some of the best (and most trustworthy) COVID-19 resources before, but if you want to look at infections specific to each province in South Africa, Hydra Africa is a great place to start.
It was last updated yesterday at 10:30AM, so doesn’t have the confirmed numbers released yesterday afternoon, but it allows you to look closer at each province:
Click ‘more’ on the Western Cape, and you get this:
There’s also a number of comparisons you can run between the provinces, such as this worrying graph
The Western Cape Government also has a handy coronavirus dashboard on its website.
That is up to date with the latest numbers, and also offers a look at an infection breakdown by sub-district:
Here’s a closer look at the Cape Town metro:
Yesterday’s statistics for the Western Cape are 234 people in hospital, with 57 of these in ICU or high care, and a total of 69 422 tests carried out.
That number of tests dwarfs certain other provinces, and some have said that the threat of remaining on alert level 4 due to higher confirmed cases actually creates an incentive for provinces to carry out less testing.
However you look at it, the Western Cape, and Cape Town in particular, remains the epicentre of the country’s outbreak.
We could be in for the long haul here, friends.
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