Cape Town’s health department has expressed concerns over the increase in non-adherence to safety protocols, saying this could lead to a second wave of Covid-19 infections.
Mayoral committee member for community services and health, Zahid Badroodien, said some residents were no longer wearing face masks in public and social distancing protocols were being ignored by many businesses.
Badroodien feared the work that went into halting the spread of the coronavirus could soon be undone if citizens dropped their collective guard.
“Our environmental health practitioners are particularly concerned about the number of people who are going about their business in public without masks, as well as crowd management in shops, malls and other public amenities,” said Badroodien.
“Cape Town worked very hard to overcome the peak of the pandemic so we could start focusing on rebuilding lives, communities and the economy. All of this hard work will be undermined if we drop our collective guard.”
Over the past few months, the Covid-19 caseload and related fatalities have decreased significantly, with fewer cases registered every day.
On Tuesday, SA recorded 1,027 Covid-19 cases, pushing the number to 683,242. There were 87 deaths reported compared to 40 on Monday, and 15 were from the Western Cape. This brings the total number of deaths to 17,103.
Badroodien said a second wave could set Cape Town back from making progress in decreasing the number of deaths.
“I hear far too many anecdotes about the pandemic being a thing of the past. This is not true, particularly if one looks at the many countries where lockdowns have had to be reintroduced as a result of a second wave of infections,” he said.
“Cape Town and SA must take heed from these cautionary tales and do everything possible to mitigate the risk of a second wave here.
“We therefore urge the public to continue abiding by the health and hygiene protocols and to wear a mask at all times in public to help avoid a second wave of infections locally, or at the very least mitigate the impact thereof.”
Second wave plan
According to health minister Zweli Mkhize, a plan has been tabled should the country be hit with a second wave.
TimesLIVE reported that Mkhize told a webinar hosted by the SA Medical Association that while the worst was over, SA may still be facing a second surge.
He said the plan would follow the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines on how to deal with the second wave.
“Of course, we may still be facing a second surge. I think we all speculate about how likely that is because many of the countries that are overtaking SA are in a second surge. Whether it’s going to be like that in SA depends, of course, on how we deal with our containment measures,” said Mkhize.
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