Covid-19 numbers decline markedly in Khayelitsha, says WCDH
The Covid-19 infection numbers in the Western Cape are looking optimistic, and in Khayelitsha in particular.
Mike Wills chats to Western Cape Department Of Health HOD Keith Cloete who says the numbers are very encouraging.
In the last seven days, we've only had 73 cases confirmed in Khayelitsha. We've had only 25 admissions from people living in Khayelitsha and only 15 deaths.Dr Keith Cloete, HOD - Western Cape Health
Compared to early in July where they were seeing in excess of 600 cases a week, some 200 hospitalised per week, and 100 deaths per week, that is a significant drop, he says.
There has been a steady decline over the past 15 days but this has been the most marked decline in Khayelitsha compared to other areas in the Western Cape.Dr Keith Cloete, HOD - Western Cape Health
Cloete says there are two likely explanations for this drop.
When we had our first clusters Khayelitsha was disproportionately affected by essential workers that went to work under lockdown, in supermarkets in the other areas, and a lot of community transmission from supermarkets came back into Khayelitsha.Dr Keith Cloete, HOD - Western Cape Health
This initial spike in Khayelitsha likely preceded other areas in the province, resulting in an earlier curve there. Other areas are lagging slightly behind but will follow suit, he says.
He says the second explanation is a lower uptake of the virus than that which was projected. Why this is, is being debated, but he says it is very possible that behavioural change did occur in terms of handwashing, mask-wearing and social distancing.
In addition, he says it is likely that there was less susceptibility to the virus than was initially thought.
This was not something we could not have predicted.Dr Keith Cloete, HOD - Western Cape Health
Cloete says this is not the time to stop taking precautions.
Those 73 cases could easily become 140 cases again so there is no cause for complacency.Dr Keith Cloete, HOD - Western Cape Health
He says one positive outcome of Covid-19 has been how organisations and people are working together with the health department and community leaders, such as seen in Khayelitsha.
The challenge is to keep the levels low for the next 18 months and to live alongside the virus. Behavioural changes are key.Dr Keith Cloete, HOD - Western Cape Health
Listen to Dr Keith Cloete below:
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