western cape

Western Cape could be on lockdown this festive

Posted by Andile Sicetsha

Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to spend the most part of Wednesday in a meeting with the President’s Coordinating Council (PCC) to discuss the possible implementation of stricter lockdown regulations for the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Western and Eastern Cape face Covid-19 resurgence

Thus far, the two provinces are experiencing high levels of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections, sparking fears of a resurgence.

According to figures released by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), the Western and Eastern Cape make up the top three provinces with the highest number of total infections.

The threat of a festive season in lockdown is more of a concern for the Western Cape, South Africa’s premier tourist destination.

A festive season in lockdown for the Western Cape?

However, the free movement of Alert Level 1 has only encouraged the spread of the deadly virus.

Packed shopping malls and social events have triggered a resurgence in infections and this is a great worry for the government since data suggests that patients in the Western and Eastern Cape are more likely to die from the virus than anywhere else in the country.

covid-19 infections
Photo: Sourced from NICD

If decisive action is not taken soon enough, things could spiral out of control. Already, in a span of five days, the Western Cape saw an increase of 4 162 new Covid-19 cases.

The mini-lockdown that could be implemented

If the province does go into lockdown, it will be a miniature version of it, Premier Alan Winde said on Monday.

Winde confirmed that the local government is considering a plan-of-action adopted by countries like Australia and Singapore to curb the resurgent spread of the virus.

If this is set in place, specific districts and municipalities will be placed under involuntary quarantine for six consecutive days. That means, no funerals, weddings and all gatherings labelled under ‘superspreader events’.

“What is happening in other parts of the world, such as Australia and Singapore, is what they call a circuit breaker. The easiest way to explain it would be a mini-lockdown,” Winde explained.

It is hoped that this method will allow health officials enough time to conduct contact tracing and isolate those exposed to the virus.

All of this is not set in stone, or at least, not yet. The presidency is expected to make further announcements once the meeting has concluded.