Western Cape Transport Minister Bonginkosi Madikizela says the campaign to enforce adherence to COVID- 19 regulations will be intensified over the coming weeks.
Madikizela is on an awareness drive at the long-distance bus and taxi Joe Gqabi terminal in Phillipi East. He’s appealed to drivers and commuters to always wear masks.
He says travellers and operators who fail to comply with safety guidelines will be penalised.
I encourage everyone who will be visiting the Western Cape to always follow the Covid-19 golden rules of hygiene to keep us all safe during the festive season and to avoid the 3 Cs – close contact, close spaces and crowded places. @WCGovTPW @WesternCapeGov @WCGovSafelyHome pic.twitter.com/GftttSos4Q
— MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela (@MadikizelaBongz) December 6, 2020
This comes ahead of the festive season exodus.
Active coronavirus cases in the province have spiked to over 12 000. The province has also recorded 4 780 COVID-19 related deaths. Since the outbreak of the virus, 138 951 people have contracted COVID-19 in the Western Cape.
Latest COVID-19 stats:
Western Cape government announces strategy to curb COVID-19
Last week, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde announced a three-pronged strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the province.
Provincial intervention plans include behaviour change campaigns aimed at citizens, stricter enforcement of safety protocols and protecting the province’s health care system.
Winde has urged residents and visitors to continue adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols in order to stop the spread of the virus.
The Western Cape has recently seen a resurgence in cases in the Garden Route and in the Cape Metro.
Winde says it is everyone’s responsibility to work together to stop the rapid increase in cases and flatten the curve. He was speaking online during his weekly digital media conference.
“Behaviour change is the most important thing for us and we’ve seen it over the last eight months, how that has really helped us to manage and flatten the curve and of course, behavioural change. Again, how do we continue to make sure that the people follow the basic rules? And if we get that right, we know we’ll flatten the curve.”
Pressure on health care workers
Western Cape Minister of Health Nomafrench Mbombo has urged residents to act responsibly in order to reduce the pressure on healthcare workers in the province. She says healthcare workers are crucial in combating the spread of COVID-19.
Mbombo says those people who act irresponsibly and do not adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, are increasing the risk of themselves, their families and healthcare workers contracting the virus.
Mbombo says staff shortages will occur when health care workers get sick.
“When people, especially those who intentionally misbehave to a certain extent, they become super spreaders or despite talking about all the interventions that need to be done related to the behaviour, they are the ones increasing these numbers. They must know that it’s not only affecting themselves and their families, but it means that we’ll end up having long queues even in our primary health care clinics.”
Head of the province’s Department of Health, Dr. Keith Cloete, says it is essential to ensure a strong focus on behaviour change to ensure containment of COVID-19 over the next 18 to 24 months. He has urged residents to continue following strict COVID-19 protocols in order to curb the spread of the virus.
“The biggest concern is the non-adherence to protective behaviours. There’s now this big need for targeted enforcement and behaviour change. The hospitilisations show a rapid increase at this point and mortality rates are starting to increase. We have contingency plans per geographic area to scale up the hospital bed capacity as required, but I have to stress, this comes at a cost of what the hospitals can do for people with other needs.”
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