The Eastern Cape Health Department has urged residents who make use of medical facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay not to go to these facilities with minor ailments that can be treated and managed at home.
The NMB Health District manager, Darlene de Vos says staff at their health facilities are working under strain as a result of the huge number of COVID-19 related cases.
“Many of our health facilities are under severe pressure due to staff shortages. We have lost a number of colleagues, and currently, we have 134 staff members from all facilities across the Metro who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19”, she said.
The increases in new cases are being driven by massive spikes in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman District.
Humansdorp and Jeffreys Bay appear to be the hotspots in Kouga Municipality with the Kouga Council already being proactive and cancelling the official opening of season and New Year’s Eve celebrations on Main Beach.
“Eight weeks into Level 1, and for the first time in this level, our risk level has increased significantly, predominantly in the Eastern Cape.
The Health Minister is stopping short of calling it a second wave just yet, but if you look at the graph of Eastern Cape’s daily cases, it already looks to be,” said analyst Kuben Nair.
“Overall new cases have increased 31% this week to almost 2,000 daily from 1,500 last week. While we have done more testing, our positivity rate has spiked sharply up to 9% from 7.6% last week.
All through October and November we’ve been at or under 8%. This is the first time we’ve seen a sharp upward change in that curve.
The Eastern Cape in particular has a very worryingly high positivity rate of almost 30%. Basically 1 in every 3 people tested in the Eastern Cape are infected. This was SA’s positivity rate during our peak in July.
Eastern Cape infections have grown 62% this week which is even faster than last week when it grew 40%.
We’re now seeing the Eastern Cape record over 1,000 cases per day when all through September and October it was under 200,” added Nair.