The Western Cape is facing a resurgence in COVID-19 infections, mainly driven by the Cape Metro and Garden Route districts. A short-term lockdown could be instated for the province as a means to control the spread, said Premier Alan Winde.

Premier Alan Winde released statistics on Friday [November 27], revealing that the Cape Metro has seen a marked increase of 73%. The sub-districts of concern are the Southern suburbs, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

Over the last seven days, the Garden Route has seen a 117% increase in new COVID-19 cases. The Central Karoo has seen a 112% increase in new cases, and the Cape Winelands have seen an 80% increase in new cases.

In the past seven days, the Overberg has seen a 67% increase in new COVID-19 cases and sub-districts of concern include Theewaterskloof and Cape Agulhas.

In the West Coast, there has been a 16% increase and areas of concern include the Cederberg, Saldanha Bay and Bergrivier.

On Friday, Winde held a strategy meeting to explore practical ways in which the province can slow and manage the spread of infections. The province’s five-point plan will be presented before the Provincial Cabinet on Tuesday, December 1.

Included in the plan is the possibility of a ‘mini-lockdown’, which will be a last resort measure if the health system is severely under strain, reports IOL.

“What is happening in other parts of the world, such as Australia and Singapore, is what they call a circuit breaker. The easiest way to explain it would be a mini-lockdown,” said Winde. “They put certain regulations in a municipality or district for six days … no weddings, no funerals, no superspreader events, so no permits would be issued.

“This circuit breaker allows for tracking and tracing and slows hospitalisation because it slows your spread. But it is a resort I don’t want to move to because you have wedding businesses that make a living from that.”

Winde acknowledges that even a mini-lockdown could be disastrous for small business and the local economy.

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