Concerns over rising COVID-19 infections in Nelson Mandela Bay

SABC NEWS WHO - Concerns over rising COVID-19 infections in Nelson Mandela Bay

The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro in the Eastern Cape is now the epicentre for coronavirus infections in the country. The surge of infections is evident in the long lines at testing centres. The metro has up to 500 infections a day. Over 650 people have been hospitalised in both private and public sectors, and all of the hospitals are full to capacity.

Head of Disaster Management for the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Shane Brown says, “The numbers are speaking to us. If we don’t do something quickly the second wave appears to have far more high infectious rate. The younger are being affected and people are getting sicker and that is the concern because the hospitals’ capacity issues and we need to bring this down. We need to bring the curve down. We have done it the first time around. We can’t (rely) on a hard lockdown. We need to rely on each and every person to do their part in this process.”

Acting Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Tshonono Buyeye says stricter law enforcement has started in the metro.

“We have to do things differently. We can’t be or want to be popular at a time where people are losing their lives. So, hence we have emphasised with our law enforcement. Make the hard decisions. Don’t buy face and force the law as it is. The regulations are there for everybody. This is the guideline. If people can’t meet the guideline what happens is what we are currently seeing now.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation at 8pm today on government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Presidency says in a statement that the address follows a special sitting of Cabinet that considered recommendations from the coronavirus control council.

Parts of South Africa have seen an increase in the rate of transmission of the coronavirus and there are concerns in some quarters about a strong second wave of infections.

The SABC will carry the President’s address live on its TV, radio and online platforms.

South Africa recorded 1 729 new coronavirus cases yesterday, taking the total number of cases to date to 740 254. The country has also recorded 106 new COVID-19-related fatalities on Tuesday.

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In a statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says most of the new deaths were recorded in the North West.

“Regrettably, we report 106 more COVID-19-related deaths: 12 from KwaZulu-Natal; 24 from Eastern Cape; 15 from the Free State; 33 from the North West; 7 from Gauteng and 15 from the Western Cape.”  This brings the total number of deaths to 19 951.

The cumulative number of tests conducted to date is 5 010 350.

Recoveries now stand at 683 194 which translates to a recovery rate of 92%.

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