We’ve seen an alarming resurgence of COVID-19 cases in various parts of the country over the past few weeks.
The Western Cape and Eastern Cape are at the forefront of rising infections, with both provinces a point of growing concern.
Provincial governments have been considering the introduction of localised short-term lockdowns to curb the spread, or ‘mini-lockdowns’ as Premier Alan Winde called them in a meeting of the Provincial Cabinet last Friday.
During that meeting, Winde said that they would be putting together a strategy centred around a five-point plan set to be presented to the Provincial Cabinet today (December 1).
Business Insider SA reports that Thsonono Buyeye, the Acting Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, has also petitioned the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) to enforce harsher district-based restrictions.
“Stricter restrictions are needed in the City and we have submitted all our inputs to the Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and other stakeholders last week,” said Buyeye.
“If we don’t curb the infections in the City, the virus will spread uncontrollably across the country and we do not want that.”
He is expected to table his proposal today, at an emergency meeting of the NCCC, which will determine whether or not an extended curfew and limits on social gatherings need to be introduced.
In the Western Cape, via HeraldLIVE, Winde has said that a ‘mini-lockdown’ would last up to six days, and would likely place a ban on all major social gatherings like weddings, funerals, and super-spreader events.
Another growing area of concern is the sale of alcohol and its impact on strained health services in hotspots.
A report last week found that over seven days, the Garden Route has seen a 117% increase in new cases. The Central Karoo has seen a 112% increase in new cases, and the Cape Winelands has seen an 80% increase in new cases.
The Overberg saw a 67% increase in new Covid-19 cases and subdistricts of concern include Theewaterskloof and Cape Agulhas.
The West Coast saw a 16% increase in new cases and areas of concern include the Cederberg, Saldanha Bay and Bergrivier.
Subdistricts in the metro which are of great concern such as the Southern Suburbs (87%), Mitchells Plain (185%), and Khayelitsha (92%) have recorded the greatest number of new cases this week.
Winde himself tweeted those stats yesterday:
➡️Marked increase of 73% in new Covid-19 cases
➡️Full update: https://t.co/Ox14dMOS7D
➡️Subdistricts of concern: Southern, Mitchells Plain & Khayelitsha pic.twitter.com/u9XbjU0OYv
— Premier Alan Winde (@alanwinde) November 30, 2020
Again from Business Insider SA:
While a decision regarding the return of stringent restrictions is due to be finalised by the end of the NCCC meeting, sources say that government is against using the term “lockdown” to label hotspot regulations.
The NCCC is also expected to receive push back from the Economic Cluster, led by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, who has detailed lockdown’s devastating socio-economic impact.
Whether or not the decisions taken in the meeting are relayed to us today, or we’re in for a President Ramaphosa address later in the week, remains to be seen.
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