Western Cape – the Epicentre of Infections

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Winde pushes for Level 3 in his province

 

By Seth Meyer

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 5 of VARSITY News.

 

As of the 20st of May 2020, the total number of confirmed infections in South Africa from the Covid-19 respiratory disease is at 18 003, with the total number of deaths at 339.

 

The vast majority of the cases occur within the province of the Western Cape, which is now the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, with 11 262 infections and 210 deaths. Our own metro of Cape Town is particularly afflicted, containing 51% of the national cases. Many citizens expect, and fear, that the lockdown level may be raised once more exclusively in these areas, or will at least remain at a prolonged Level 4 while the rest of the nation eases into Level 3 by the end of May, as President Cyril Ramaphosa stated in his most recent address to the nation. The Western Cape is governed by the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the president was due to meet with Western Cape Premier Alan Winde to discuss and review steps taken in the province in preparation for the pandemic. This meeting had to be rescheduled, as Winde was suddenly forced into self-quarantine after coming into close proximity with an eNCA cameraman who subsequently tested positive for and tragically passed away from Covid-19.

 

While it might seem obvious to most that the Western Cape will remain in a higher stage of lockdown than most of the nation, Winde has gone on to state that the Western Cape must move down to Level 3 with the rest of the nation, “preferably before the end of May”, claiming that the health system is prepared for a surge in cases. “It is simply no longer possible to maintain level 4 restrictions anywhere in the Western Cape or South Africa,” said Winde, “The economic crisis caused by these restrictions has resulted in a life-threatening humanitarian disaster that will only worsen in the months ahead”.

 

As the Western Cape continues to struggle with the ever-rising case numbers, South Africans may now only wait and see what the government’s decision will be when it comes to easing restrictions.

 

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