Johannesburg – Limpopo Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, has called for a change in behaviour after the province saw its highest number of new infections since the Coronavirus pandemic began.
According to the MEC, the province recorded 1 575 positive cases in the last 24 hours, a sharp increase from 900 over the previous reporting cycle.
Capricorn is now the hardest-hit district in the province with 623 new infections, followed by Vhembe District 408 and Mopani District 253.
“Although the Waterberg District was leading at some point, their numbers are no longer increasing at an alarming rate. The district has recorded 189 new cases,” the provincial department said, adding that the Sekhukhune District only had 98 new cases.
However, the department is watching the two districts, which are mining hubs, closely as the mines will soon reopen doors after the festive season.
Meanwhile, the Polokwane, Thulamela and Greater Tzaneen municipalities remain on high alert.
“The increase in numbers is quite concerning considering that during the beginning of December, the province would only record around 20 cases per 24-hour counting cycle.”
The department believes that the escalating figures paint a “worrying picture” of community members not following COVID-19 safety protocols during the recent festive season.
“We are now paying the price of social gatherings, Christmas parties and luncheons, weddings and birthday parties which we have seen during the month of December,” Ramathuba said.
“We have advised that any kind of gathering during the festive was a bad idea also considering that we have people who came from other provinces coming home to attend those gatherings.”
The MEC is pleading with communities to act more responsibly during this difficult period.
“As the virus attacks indiscriminately during this second wave, we need to see real behaviour change from our people in order to make a real difference.”
South Africa logged over 800 daily Coronavirus deaths for the first time since the outbreak, while new cases also hit a record high after 21 832 tested positive on Wednesday.
Limpopo has 7 592 patients who are currently infected, while the cumulative cases stand at 30 840.
The MEC said the focus is now shifting to the availability of hospital beds as the numbers peak.
“Though we are seeing a huge number of people coming to our hospitals due to COVID-19, our hospitals are still having enough beds for patients who need admission due to the virus,” she added.
Meanwhile, Ramathuba is calling on everyone who was at Beitbridge border post, which connects South Africa and Zimbabwe, to quarantine for at least seven days after 104 people tested positive as authorities deal with congestion.