Alarming rise in Nelson Mandela Bay’s Covid-19 cases

02 June 2021 - 13:25 By Michael Kimberley
A total of 271 active cases were recorded in Nelson Mandela Bay as of May 12, with the figure increasing to 594 by May 31
A total of 271 active cases were recorded in Nelson Mandela Bay as of May 12, with the figure increasing to 594 by May 31
Image: KATERYNA KON/123RF

The number of active Covid-19 cases has more than doubled in Nelson Mandela Bay within three weeks, with 61.9% of all new cases reported in the Eastern Cape coming from the city.

This is according to an epidemiology report dated May 31 which warns it is time to ensure non-pharmaceutical preventive measures are implemented, case detection is increased and contact tracing enhanced.

A total of 271 active cases were recorded in the Bay as of May 12, with the figure rising to 594 on May 31.

The city has recorded 3,345 deaths of the country’s total of 57,132 since the pandemic hit SA in 2020.

Five districts — the Bay, Buffalo City, Joe Gqabi , Sarah Baartman and Chris Hani — reported more than five cases for every 100,000 people.

“There was a rapid increase in the number of active cases in the five districts,” the report said. .

The province’s rolling seven-day average, which is used globally to determine the spread of the coronavirus as cases fluctuate from day to day, has also increased from 75 on May 24 to 95 on May 30.

The Bay’s rolling seven-day average was 61 on May 30.

“The provincial recovery rate remained above 90% over the past seven days.

“However, it has shown a decrease during the same period.”

According to the report, there are currently 128 hospital admissions for Covid-19 across the province.

Of that, 90 are in private facilities and 38 in public care.

Nine of these patients are on ventilators, with most in general Covid-19 wards.

Phase 2 of the Covid-19 vaccination drive started on May 17, with 339,702 people over the age of 60 registered to receive their jabs.

The Bay has recorded the most registered people (59,150) followed by Buffalo City (48,378).

Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth said the department might not be able to reach every elderly person and asked that anyone who could assist should help people over the age of 60 to register.

“It is up to us who have smartphones, laptops and desktops with an internet connection to help by registering every elderly person not only in our own homes, but in our villages, townships and neighbourhoods.”

As cases continue to increase, Meth urged residents to work with officials doing contact tracing.

“A lack of co-operation has been on the rise in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman and Chris Hani districts.

“In the Bay, problematic areas include Summerstrand, Walmer, Lorraine, Sunridge Park, Gelvan Park, Malabar and Humewood.

“Residents in these areas have not been welcoming, at times rudely refusing officials to carry out their duties.

“Without proper tracing, people who may have come in contact with people who tested positive might spread the virus unknowingly,” Meth said.

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