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Covid cases on the increase in the Eastern Cape

The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be in full swing in the Eastern Cape, with the Department of Health already severely stretched as hospital admissions increase.

There have been early warning signs throughout October of a second wave forming in the province, with a significant uptick in cases in the province’s two Metros, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City, in recent weeks.

Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp have also seen a dramatic increase in cases over the past two weeks.

Unfortunately, as the daily reports come in, the evidence is clearly showing a spike in cases. Looking at the seven-day average figures, the province has recorded an average of 616 cases per day over the past week, up from 434 the week before, and 283 the week before that.

Despite this data, there has been very little in the way of communication to warn members of the public, who appear to have grown complacent in the face of the pandemic, and the ongoing hardships they have endured for months.

“As a result, we are seeing a general lack of compliance implementing potentially life-saving measures, including the wearing of masks, regularly washing or sanitising hands and keeping a safe distance from other people.

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The government has also scored several own goals with reference to the above, with thousands of indigent people expected to queue monthly in order to claim their social and Covid-19 grants, where social distancing is seldom enforced and queues are not monitored as they should be,” said Jane Cowley, the DA Shadow Minister of Health in the Eastern Cape.

“The ECSECC (Eastern Cape Socio Economic Consultative Council) ward-based Rapid Response Dashboard, which was designed to reflect real time data and statistics, is still lagging behind by several days, and some of the information reflected on the dashboard is outdated.

For example, the dashboard reflected this morning that ‪438 024‬ people have been tested overall in the province, while the correct number is actually ‪519 414‬.

Most frustrating however, is that this dashboard has never been made available to the public to keep them informed, and thus empowered to make smart decisions regarding their wellbeing,” added Cowley.