Government will consider additional restrictions for the Garden Route District in the Western Cape as a means of curbing the impact of a second coronavirus wave in the area, says Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Mkhize will meet with health and government officials in the area this week after president Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the area was a national coronavirus hotspot on Thursday evening (3 December).
In a press briefing, Mkhize said that some of the restrictions which are being considered for the district including limitations on:
- Public halls;
- Swimming pools;
- Large activities in parks;
- Gatherings on beaches.
Mkhize said that these types of gatherings are a ‘recipe’ for super-spreader events. He said that the pandemic would not be ended through regulations and in hospitals, but instead by actions taken in the community.
Mkhize did not specify whether further local restrictions – such as those seen in Nelson Mandela Bay – are also being considered.
On Friday, Western Cape premier Alan Winde welcomed president Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision not to introduce local restrictions in the province, but warned that it was ‘not off the hook’
“Currently, the National Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is visiting the Garden Route and is meeting with our teams – led by our provincial minister Nomafrench Mbombo – to see the situation on the ground for himself and to relay his feedback to national structures.”
Winde said that the Western Cape will present its plans to manage the resurgence – in line with a three-pronged approach of continuing its health response, ensuring behaviour change in communities and enforcing existing level 1 regulations effectively.
“I have faith in our health response and in our continued ability to manage this resurgence, and I will be submitting a plan to the President, on his request on Monday.
“We need the help of every person, business, civil society group and faith-based organisation to now deliver against this plan and ensure that we roll-back this resurgence.
“Indeed, we need to show that we can get the situation control through our own actions. And this requires every one of us to change our behaviour and ensure that we do not get infected with Covid-19 or spread Covid-19. ”