Winde pleads for 'deal' with citizens to prevent fresh Covid-19 surge
Cape Town’s more affluent southern and western suburbs were responsible for the surge in Covid-19 cases seen over the past three weeks in the Western Cape.
Western Cape health department head Dr Keith Cloete said on Thursday that a superspreading event in the southern suburbs, where scores of people aged between 15 and 25 contracted the virus, was responsible for the surge in cases.
Other health subdistricts in Cape Town have not seen significant changes in their Covid-19 cases, though test-positivity in the province has increased from 6% to 11%. This was an indication, Cloete said, that too little testing is being done and not necessarily that Covid-19 cases are increasing.
The super-spreading event Cloete referred to was a party in Claremont attended by pupils from schools in the southern suburbs last month.
In the Western subdistrict, including Table View, Milnerton and Woodstock, cases increased as a result of many small outbreaks.
Cloete said the outbreaks seemed to be associated with sports events and events where large groups of people gathered.
During his weekly media conference, Western Cape premier Alan Winde pleaded with residents of the province for a “deal” in which their behaviour does not result in a Covid-19 surge which will make it difficult for the provincial government to plead its case for more relaxed regulations.
“I’m looking for a recovery deal with the citizens of this province. We have to have a deal to make sure we flatten the curve and to prevent a second wave and going into another lockdown,” he said.
He dispelled rumours that SA was heading for another lockdown any time soon. “We understand that there will be flare-ups. We also notice that across the world at the moment other governments are still having to go back into lockdown.
“We can be the exception. We as a province have to be an outlier. It means every one of us has the responsibility to make sure that we flatten the curve.”
Winde said that it was important that the province did not go into another lockdown as it was already expected to lose 150,000 jobs by the end of the year.
“If we can’t get our jobs back, we can’t focus on the dignity and wellbeing of our citizens,” he said.
“I don’t want to be the guy having to go into those national government conferences and saying the Western Cape needs to open up more, but we’ve dropped the ball and our numbers are going back up again.”