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Infections rise rapidly
covid-19
Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul (left) and Mase Monnapule (MEC for Health), who welcomed a team of Cuban doctors to the Northern Cape on Monday (18/05) during a ceremony held at the Department of Health’s offices in the James Exum building in Kimberley. Photo: Supplied

While most cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Gauteng, the Western-Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, there has been a jump in the number of infections across the Northern Cape province since the national lockdown measures have been eased on 1 May.

Since the beginning of the month to mid-month the number of people who tested positive for the virus rose from 18 to 37.

The Northern Cape Department of Health said on Tuesday (19/05) of these 37 cases, 27 people have recovered.

covid-19
These 11 Cuban doctors, including medical technicians and specialists, will be deployed throughout the five districts in the Northern Cape to assist in fighting the Covid-19 virus over the next 12 months. Photo: Supplied

A woman who allegedly travelled from the Eastern Cape to the Northern Cape in the grace period from May 1 to May 7 apparently died on 11 May at a hospital in Kimberley.

If her death is officially confirmed as a Covid-19 death, it will be the first death of its kind recorded in the Northern Cape.

An employee from Kumba’s Sishen Iron Ore mine who tested positive for Covid-19, is currently recuperating at home in Kathu, the company said earlier this week.

Sinah Phochan, media spokes­person for Anglo American, said the company was assisting the employee to obtain medical attention and support during isolation.

“The employee has not been at the mine operations since 12 April. He was scheduled for a medical procedure and was required to conduct a Covid-19 test before admission to hospital. The test was conducted by his private medical doctor at Lenmed Hospital’s facilities in Kathu.

“The employee lives on his own and his domestic helper has been informed and will be quarantined and tested.”

She added that there was no need to quarantine any colleagues, who were also notified, as he had not been in close contact with them for the past five weeks.

The lockdown will not prevent infections, but has given us time to develop a system to respond to a high number of infections.

The Deben police station near Kathu has temporarily been closed after it was discovered that one of its officers had tested positive for Covid-19.

Brig. Vishnu Naidoo, national police spokesperson, stated that the police station had been evacuated on Friday (15/05) and was expected to reopen this week following decontamination of the premises.

“All members who came into contact with the member are undergoing testing and screening, while the infected member was placed in quarantine,” Naidoo said.

“Any member that tests positive will also be quarantined, while those who test negative will return to work.”

Meanwhile, Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul and MEC for Health Mase Monnapule welcomed 11 Cuban doctors, including medical technicians and specialists, in the province.

They will be deployed throughout the five districts in the province, to assist in fighting the Covid-19 virus over the next 12 months.

This brings the number of Cuban doctors working in the province to 36, Saul said on Monday (18/05) during the welcoming ceremony held at the Department of Health’s offices in the James Exum building in Kimberley.

“The province has the lowest rate of Covid-19 in the country and no deaths. We want to lower the rate of infection. The lockdown will not prevent infections, but has given us time to develop a system to respond to a high number of infections,” Saul said.

“We are grateful to the doctors, who are skilled technicians and know how to deal with the pandemic to minimise the impact and strengthen capacity.”

Saul indicated that the province was expected to experience a peak in infections around August and September.

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