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Western Cape Considers Local Restrictions

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As Covid-19 cases in the Western Cape have been rising, the health department has been thinking of ways to contain the spread of the virus. 

The Western Cape Health Department has been considering localised restrictions, but the province is still operating under the National Disaster Management Act. 

Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo said a lockdown can only be enforced by the President.

The health department mainly wants to see a change in the behaviour of people. 

"I've been at the taxi rank twice, where people were not even wearing masks and then I indicated to the taxi operators that they shouldn't allow people to come in without a mask...Each and every person has to take responsibility... Individual responsibility is crucial, especially to protect our healthcare workers. "

Mbombo said the infection rate among healthcare workers is concerning, as well as the increase in hospitalisations for Covid-19. 

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier said the province recently recorded 904 hospitalisations. This is nearly double the hospitalisations recorded in September. 

“In the last 24-hour reporting period alone, the number of people being hospitalised for COVID-19 increased by a staggering 54 people.”

He said hospitalisations in the private sector have increased by 94%, while hospitalisations in the public sector have increased by 39%.

More Covid-19 patients have been needing critical care beds, as the province has seen a 75% increase in critical care admissions. 

Winde said the country cannot afford another lockdown and urged South Africans to follow the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines. 

“We also cannot afford a lockdown again, as is being witnessed in many European countries right now. Our economy simply cannot afford it. A lockdown would kill jobs and cause our humanitarian disaster to worsen. This will also cost lives in the future,” he stressed.

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