Data from the Western Cape’s Department of Health questionnaire shows a clear trend in Covid-19 infections originating from social events, says premier Alan Winde.
Winde said that the questionnaire asks people who have tested positive for the virus where they think they got it from in a bid to track trends and clusters.
77% did not know where they had got it from, but of the 23% who did, the majority (42%) said they had contracted it at a social event or from a friend, and 35% said at home or from a family member, he said.
“This points to the fact that social gatherings are the most likely cause of infection. With the festive season approaching, we must ensure that we make the safe choices that will protect ourselves and our families,” he said.
“We know that over the next few weeks, people will be moving around more- traveling across the province and between provinces for the festive season, holding end of year parties, spending time with family over Christmas, and celebrating the New Year.”
Winde said that provincial authorities will also be closely monitoring events like Matric Rage, which is traditionally held on the Garden Route, and which is a major drawcard for thousands of matrics looking to celebrate the end of their school career.
“While the Garden Route is a provincial hotspot right now, we are seeing small increases in cases in other areas across the province as well and we should all be taking precautions,” he said.
“In the next week, we will also see a number of Black Friday sales, which have the potential to attract large crowds or become a super-spreader event unless carefully handled and managed.
“We know that many residents face extreme economic pressure at the moment, and the prospect of large savings is compelling. We also know that many retailers and businesses have had a tough year and will be looking to maximise their sales.”
Winde said that over the next few days, the Department of Economic Development will be meeting with major retailers, and the property management companies for the major shopping centres, to discuss risk management strategies, as well as the consequences of non-compliance of the Covid-19 safety measures.
As of 19 November, the Western Cape has 4,901 active Covid-19 infections with a total of 122,322 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 112,920 recoveries.
South Africa reported 2,514 new cases on Thursday, taking the total reported to 759,658. Deaths have reached 20,671 (a daily increase of 115), while recoveries have climbed to 702,544, leaving the country with a balance of 36,443 active cases.