Western Cape's skyrocketing coronavirus numbers spark concern
The Western Cape's growing number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has sparked concern among South Africans.
The province has recorded 60% of SA's confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to the latest stats released by health minister Zweli Mkhize on Sunday.
Members of the SA Defence Force (SANDF) were deployed across the country on March 27 2020. Soldiers took to the streets to help enforce lockdown regulations in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. TimesLIVE spent some time on duty with the SANDF in Alexandra.
Mkhize announced a daily record of 1,160 new cases, which took the total in the country to 15,515.
Deaths number 264 and the total recoveries 7,006.
“We remain concerned about the developments in the Western Cape, with the total cumulative cases now comprising almost 60% of the national [number of] cumulative cases,” said Mkhize.
“The new cases from Western Cape comprise 76% of new cases from the past 24-hour cycle,” he said.
Last week, while hinting about possibly moving to level 3 lockdown, Mkhize said Cape Town may need tighter restrictions.
“We are dealing with a dynamic situation and will monitor and evaluate the progress in various parts.
“It must be expected there may be areas where it might not be the best way to just let everything get back to normal. We might need to consider heightened interventions of lockdown in various forms.”
On social media, many expressed concern, saying the national coronavirus command council should tighten the lockdown regulations and prioritise the province's health.
Here is a snapshot of some comments.
Nothing is as scary to me at the moment as rising numbers of Covid-19 infected people in the Western Cape & uncertainty that comes with lockdown.— Xoli (@sixolile_mfombi) May 18, 2020
The big jump in COVID-19 cases reported last night raises the question: Do these numbers reflect recent cases or the clearing of backlogs in the labs? There were media reports, which weren't denied, a week or so ago that Western Cape labs had a backlog of up to 10000 tests.— Sipho Jabulani Hastings Sikakane (Sikhakhane) (@SikhakhaneJ) May 18, 2020
I can't believe western cape is clocking practically all the covid cases each day. Like, are they hosting coronavirus parties like the Americans or what's going on?— ; (@gapehere) May 18, 2020
This is a scary: In the last 24 hours, 1 160 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) May 17, 2020
60% of total cases are from the Western Cape.
Eastern Cape is slowly overtaking the share of cases attributed to Gauteng.
Meahwile we are squabbling among ourselves. Unhelpfully. pic.twitter.com/UhLp4ZMNNp