Tag Archive for: Flatten the Curve

South African Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize reported 9,445 new cases on Sunday evening (20 December), and 152 new deaths over the past 24 hours, as the virus continues its second wave of infection.

It follows 10,939 new virus cases and 254 more deaths in the country on Saturday, the Health Department said.

“As of today, the total number of confirmed #Covid-19 cases is 921,922, the total number of deaths is 24,691 and the total number of recoveries is 793,914, the minister said in a post on social media.

“Regrettably, 152 more Covid-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 105 , Free State 5, Gauteng 1, Kwa-Zulu Natal 8, Mpumalanga 3 and Western Cape 30,” he said.

Mediclinic International said it’s struggling with capacity constraints as the country experiences a second wave of coronavirus infections, Bloomberg reported.

Patients seeking care within Mediclinic hospitals are exceeding previous numbers during the first peak, Gerrit de Villiers, a group general manager said in a statement. Demand in many intensive care and high care units have reached capacity, the company said.

Mediclinic said coronavirus patients had climbed from less than 100 admissions to more than 500 in a month in its facilities across the Western Cape.

“This dramatic increase in numbers within the Western Cape has placed very heavy strain on available healthcare resources including staff, equipment and available beds to provide intensive treatment for seriously ill patients,” it said. Elective or non-emergency surgery has been cancelled.

Mediclinic said it is increasing beds available to Covid-19 patients and reallocating resources.

The Western Cape pointed to a spike in new cases over the past week. “Over the last 7 days the Cape Metro has seen a 87% increase in Covid-19 cases, with Mitchells Plain recording a 101% increase, and Eastern subdistricts 97% increase, The Western Cape Government said.


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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced new lockdown measures at both national, and district level for South Africa.

In a national address on Monday evening (14 December), the president said that the country has been hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections with nearly 8,000 new cases reported on Sunday.

There can no longer be any doubt that South Africa has entered a second wave, said the president. “If we do not act urgently, the second wave will be even more severe than the first wave.”

The president pointed to four provinces leading this second wave, including:

  • The Western Cape
  • The Eastern Cape
  • KZN
  • Gauteng

There are probably many reasons for this massive spike in infections, but some key contributors are now becoming clearer, the president said.

Ramaphosa said that most cases are reported in young people between 15 and 19 years. He said that one of the main reasons for the massive spike in infections are social gatherings and parties- particularly the matric rage event.

“In many of these gatherings, social distancing is not being observed, venues are crowded and not adequately ventilated, hand sanitiser is not readily available, and people are not wearing masks,” he said.

Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events, with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.

“We now know that nearly 1,000 young people from Gauteng who attended the event have tested positive for the coronavirus. What we don’t yet know is how many more people each of them has infected.

“It is said that up to 300 families could in turn have been infected. The sad truth about is that festivals, concerts & parties – which should be occasions for fun & joy – are proving to be sources of infection & illness and may even lead to deaths.”

Other reasons behind the rise infections include increased travel between provinces and a relaxed attitude to current lockdown regulations such as wearing masks.

“The more we travel, the greater the potential to spread the virus,” the president said.

He said that the relatively low rates of infection over the last few months have made us more relaxed about wearing a mask over our nose and mouth every time we go out in public.

“Another factor in the rise in infections is increased travel with many people not observing prevention measures as they move within cities, towns and rural areas, and between different areas.”

“The festive season now poses the greatest threat,” the president said. “Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many South Africans,” he said.

Local restrictions

Ramaphosa said that it is necessary to take extraordinary measures to save lives, while still protecting livelihoods.

These measures include local lockdown restrictions for the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route District in the Western Cape, which have been declared hotspot regions.

From 00h01 on Tuesday, until a drop in infections is seen, the following additional restrictions will take affect in these areas:

  • Hours of curfew will be from 22h00 – 04h00 except for essential workers and emergencies;
  • The sale of alcohol will only be permitted between 10h00 and 18h00, from Monday and Thursday at retail outlets;
  • Alcohol use will be banned in public places such as beaches and parks;
  • All gatherings, including religious gatherings, may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events;
  • At all times the total number of people may not exceed 50% of venue capacity;
  • All post-funeral gatherings are now prohibited.

National lockdown

Ramaphosa also announced that further national restrictions will be reintroduced from 00h01 on Tuesday.

These restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the country’s coronavirus cases, he said.

The new restrictions include:

  • Stricter enforcement of existing level 1 lockdown restrictions – This includes that people in public buildings and public transport wear masks.
  • Gatherings – Gatherings will be further restricted to 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events. The total number of people in a venue may not exceed 50% of the capacity of the venue.
  • Funerals – All post-funeral gathering are prohibited across the country.
  • Beaches – Ramaphosa said that a differentiated approach will be used for the country’s beaches and public parks. In areas with high coronavirus cases beaches and parks will be closed from 16 December to 3 January – this will apply to all of the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. Beaches will also be closed in KZN on days which are seen as particularly busy. These include 16 December, 26 December, 31 December, 1 January, 2 January, and 3 January. Beaches and public parks in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will remain open for now.
  • Evening – South Africa’s national curfew will be extended: 23h00 until 04h00. This means that non-essential establishments such as restaurants will have to close at 22h00 so that staff and patrons can go home before curfew. The curfew is in full effect on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
  • Alcohol – The sale of alcohol will only be permitted from 10h00 – 18h00 from Monday to Thursday at retail outlets. Wine farms can remain open and sell alcohol for off-site consumption as per their licence hours.


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  • City of Cape Cape Town says that not having the ability to have a good time New Year’s Eve is the least of their issues this festive season because the Covid-19 state of affairs might change into a lot dire.
  • When the curfew begins, folks can be required to be off the streets.
  • The City can be visiting at the least three alcohol retailers a day in every suburb, to lower the spate of alcohol-related incidents.

The City of Cape Cape Town can be intently eyeing liquor retailers this festive season, as alcohol-related trauma incidents might place an pointless burden on town’s hospitals amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, the City’s Safety and Security and Community Services and Health Directorates held a briefing addressing the City’s 2020/21 festive season preparedness plan, discussing new implementations that will be taken to curb the unfold of the coronavirus.

Cape Town mayco member JP Smith stated operational plans can be put in place for large days reminiscent of New Year’s Eve.

“The South African Police Services, along with the City services, will put an operational plan in place for each of these big days,” stated Smith.

“When the curfew starts, we will require people not to be on the streets”, he added.

Smith stated that in the mean time, the least of their issues was that folks wouldn’t be allowed to have a good time New Year’s Eve as earlier than.

In addition to the brand new plan, the City can be visiting at the least three alcohol retailers a day in every suburb to monitor compliance, in a bid to lower the spate of alcohol-related incidents.

Law enforcement visited 69 retailers in October and 85 in November, checking for compliance.

This would additionally be certain that hospitals weren’t clogged up by alcohol-related trauma.

Beaches, swimming swimming pools

Addressing the accessibility of leisure parks and seashores, councillor Zahid Badroodien stated the general public would have to work intently with the recreation and parks division to ensure that all of the laws have been adhered to.

“The City has about 370km of coastline and a number of beaches and tidal pools along the length of the City,” he stated.

He stated that in any respect these varied places, facility workers, lifeguards and identikits can be out there over the festive season.

Badroodien additionally emphasised that seaside goers ought to attempt to come dressed for the seaside to minimise interplay within the altering rooms.

With the Covid-19 laws, the swimming pools have been solely in a position to take about 50% of the standard quantity of patrons.

“If you have any symptoms or know of anyone who has had Covid-19 within a short space of time, or if you are waiting for test results, please don’t come to any of our public facilities,” urged Badroodien.

The City was anticipated to have over 600 lifeguards that will be positioned; 340 of whom can be situated seasonally on the seashores, whereas 300 can be based mostly at swimming swimming pools.


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Cases Rising

SA recorded more than 8,100 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours – from December 9th to 10th – along with 173 fatalities.

“We wish to reiterate our plea to South Africans to heed the threat of the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases identified. There is clear evidence of an exponential rise in transmission and this is cause for serious concern,” said health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.

He confirmed that 8,166 new cases were confirmed in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed infections countrywide to 836,764.

The confirmed cases come from 45,207 tests, at an infection rate of 18%.

Mkhize also reported 173 new Covid-19 related deaths in the past 24 hours. Of these, 90 were in the Eastern Cape, 52 were in the Western Cape, 13 in Gauteng, 10 in KwaZulu-Natal and eight in Gauteng.

There have now been 22,747 confirmed deaths linked to the coronavirus pandemic in SA.

To date, 756,671 recoveries have been recorded.

The bulk of the new cases came from the Western Cape (2,666) and Eastern Cape (2,187), following by KwaZulu-Natal (1,669) and Gauteng (1,234). The North West was next-highest, with just 105 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Second Wave

Health minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Wednesday that SA has entered a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

He was giving an update on the state of Covid-19 in SA, as infections continue to climb. SA has registered 828,598 Covid-19 cases since March, and 22,574 deaths.

Nelson Mandela Bay in the Eastern Cape was recently declared a hotspot by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who announced the introduction of stricter measures there to help mitigate the further spread of the virus.

Key Quotes from the Minister’s Update

Drivers of the second wave

Mkhize said a spike in infections in four provinces was the main cause of the second wave.

“It is important for us to highlight that four provinces, being the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng are the key drivers of this new wave. We looked at the number of tests done, the positivity rate and numbers of people who are admitted at fatalities. These show an indication of an increase.”

Eastern Cape and Western Cape severely affected, but it has spread

Mkhize said the increases in the last week were in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape but have since spread to four other provinces.

“Up to the past week or so, we had an increase in the Eastern Cape and in the Western Cape. There were specific districts which were affected. Now we are indicating that the numbers are increasing to involve more provinces. As of today, the increases are shown in about six of the provinces.”

How the other provinces are doing

The minister said the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape had more new cases than other provinces. The Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West each account for just 1% of the new infections, while the Northern Cape accounts for less than 1%.

“The Western Cape has 30% of the positive cases today, followed by the Eastern Cape, which is at 24%, and KwaZulu-Natal, which is 23%, and Gauteng province at 17%.”

Superspreader events

Mkhize said the peak age is now between 15 and 19. This is believed to be chiefly from events such as the Rage Festival attended by teenagers in Ballito, KZN recently. The health department declared the event a Covid-19 “superspreader”.

“This is a new issue and this is worrying. It is believed to be due to a large number of parties involving young people drinking alcohol with no adherence to non-pharmaceutical interventions, wearing no masks, and social distancing and hand sanitising not taking place.”

“Prepare for a festive season with a difference”

The minister said the festive season should be enjoyed responsibly and with caution to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

“Yes, the festive season is a time for us to relax and enjoy with our families; we now need to understand that we have a responsibility to enjoy with various restraints.

“If your enjoyment will lead to more people being infected and being admitted to hospital, it’s not a responsible way to enjoy ourselves.”


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].