With three more Covid-19 cases having been confirmed at Humansdorp this past week, a renewed call has gone out to residents to stay home to avoid contracting or spreading the coronavirus.
“We started the week with five cases in Humansdorp. This has now increased to eight,” Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said.
“All indications are that the first two patients were infected at a funeral in Port Elizabeth.
“The virus then spread through local contact, with the extra cases being identified by the Department of Health through contact tracing and the mass screening programme.”
He said the patients all resided in KwaNomzamo, where more than 9 500 residents were reached last week through the Department’s mass screening and testing campaign.
“Of concern is that one of the new patients is a security guard at Shoprite in Humansdorp,” he said.
He said the municipality had met with the management of Sarah Baartman District Health and Humansdorp Shoprite over the weekend to discuss strategies and interventions to mitigate the possible spread of the coronavirus.
Sarah Baartman District Mayor Eunice Kekana and East Cape MPL Virginia Camealio-Benjamin were also present.
The Department of Health said they welcomed the swift closure of the shop and were satisfied that Shoprite had been implementing the necessary precautionary methods to minimise the potential spread of the virus.
They will be working with Shoprite to ensure all employees and contract staff are tested.
Shoprite said in a statement that the shop would be sanitised and deep cleansed before re-opening. This will be done in consultation with the Department of Health.
“An employee screening programme, supported by the company’s mobile clinic, has been put in place and those staff members who had close contact with the infected person are now self-quarantining for 14 days.”
Hendricks said the rise in cases emphasized how important it was for all residents, not just those from Humansdorp, to stay home.
He said the Joint Operations Committee (JOC) would be meeting daily to coordinate all anti-Covid-19 efforts in Humansdorp.
According to the Department of a Health, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Kouga is nine – the first in St Francis Bay, followed by eight in Humansdorp.
There are no reported cases in Jeffreys Bay as yet.