The first person living in Makhanda to have tested positive for Covid-19 self-isolated on his return from overseas and remains under quarantine, says the Department of Health. This comes as provincial health officials continue their screening, testing and awareness campaign here and across the Province. Meanwhile, government and civil society initiatives to provide food for needy people in Makhanda are scheduled to meet Wednesday 8* April to better co-ordinate their relief work.
The Makhanda resident who was a confirmed case had himself tested on his return from the UK, said the Health Department’s Makana Subdistrict spokesperson Siyanda Manana.
“His test was done in Gauteng which was why it wasn’t previously registered as a positive test for this area,” Manana said. “The person self isolated from the beginning and is being monitored.” The person had notified local authorities as soon as they were informed of their positive result.
Another person who was tested in Makhanda at the end of March had a positive Covid-19 result; however they were staying in the Paterson district and had come to town only for testing. This completes the total of two positive Covid-19 test results recorded for Makhanda.
In a media release, the Eastern Cape Department of Health said the door to door campaign launched in the Eastern Cape on Monday includes screening contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“The Eastern Cape government is concerned about increasing figures,” said Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo.
“During this ongoing massive campaign set to be rolled over to various districts in the province, all those found with COVID-19 related symptoms will be quarantined and those tested positive will be admitted [to hospital]for treatment.”
The campaign would be taken to the most remote areas of the province.
The four mobile testing units dispatched to the Eastern Cape by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize would alleviate possible bottlenecks in the Province’s health facilities,” Kupelo said.
Here in Makhanda, the screening, testing and awareness campaign is set to continue Wednesday morning 8 April, after which the mobile unit currently in town, together with four clinical staff, will move on to Ndlambe. In Makhanda close to 80 people had been screened and/ or tested by Tuesday midday, head of the local Covid-19 Joint Operations Committee, Mayor Mzukisi Mpahlwa confirmed. The testing currently had a 24-hour turnaround from sampling to result.
Mpahlwa said the Department of Social Development had been inundated with requests for food parcels. As a result, government and civil society food relief initiatives would meet tomorrow to co-ordinate their efforts and communicate qualifying criteria to councillors, who have been tasked with auditing the needs of communities in their areas.
“There are lots of people doing good work,” Mpahlwa said. “But so far it hasn’t been co-ordinated.”
As of 7 April, the Eastern Cape had a total of 31 confirmed positive Covid-19 cases, with five of those in the Sarah Baartman District.
South Africa had 31 more confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the total up to 1686. Twelve people have died.
On 7 April, worldwide cases totalled 1 279 722. Of those, 68 766 are new cases. A total of 72 614 people have died and of those, 5 020 are new deaths.
* Date corrected (8 April)