WC authorities to clamp down on crowded events '250 gathering limit is too high'
Law enforcement officials in the Western Cape will be clamping down on social gatherings and events as Covid-19 infections continue to climb in the province.
The Western Cape's Head of Health Dr. Keith Cloete says authorities will be paying close attention to social gatherings and irresponsible behaviour everywhere from beaches to nightclubs.
The current Disaster Management Act regulations for alert level 1 state the following about gatherings:
- Gatherings at social events are limited to 250 persons or less in case of an indoor gathering and 500 persons or less in case of an outdoor gathering.
- Provided that no more than 50 percent of the capacity of the venue is used, with persons observing a distance of least one and a half metres from each other.
Dr Cloete says the capacity numbers applicable under the current regulations are too high and increase the risks of Covid-19 exposure.
He says law enforcement officials will be enforcing smaller numbers at gatherings.
Even if the national regulations talk about 250 and 500, those numbers are way too high.Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health
The evidence suggests that we need much much smaller numbers... We are going to have to do something about enforcing smaller numbers in gatherings.Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health
The law enforcement guys are now doing an operation... they will be deployed in the metro and along the Garden Route to clamp down on places of gathering and where people are not adhering to the rule.Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health
The Western Cape currently has 10,442 active cases.
There have been 7,500 active cases reported in the last seven days. This is compared to 4,300 active cases in the preceding seven-day period.
A total of 1,253 people have been hospitalised with Covid-19 complications, of which 209 are in ICU or high care.
Dr. Cloete says daily Covid-19 deaths are steadily increasing. On Wednesday, 29 people died of Covid-19.
Our deaths have started to increase. Yesterday [Wednesday] we had 29 deaths. So now it's starting to move into the 30s. A week ago we were looking at 10 to 15 [daily deaths]... Over the next four day, we expect to go into the 30s and mid-30s in terms of deaths per day.Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health
We've made a strong call for responsible public behaviour for the next month which will be crucial for flattening the curve.Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health
On Thursday, Western Cape officials briefed Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize about their Covid-19 resurgence response plan.
Mkhize will be visiting the Garden Route on Friday to assess the situation.
The briefing was about what we are doing in the Western Cape. Minister Mkhize was quite impressed. He is personally visiting the Garden Route tomorrow [Friday] with MEC Mbombo and our local team will show him our efforts.Dr Keith Cloete, Head of Department - Western Cape Department of Health
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