56 test positive after entering Eastern Cape from Western Cape

A total of 56 people travelling from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19
CAUSE FOR CONCERN: A total of 56 people travelling from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape have tested positive for Covid-19
Image: FILE

At least 56 people who  travelled from the Western Cape into the Eastern Cape during the lockdown have tested positive for Covid-19.

They entered the province through Tsitsikamma and Aberdeen, with about 9,000 more entering through the various borders from the Western Cape between April 29 and May 4.

A number of people entered the province for burials and funerals.

Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba said the high number of people travelling from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape was concerning.

“We understand that interprovincial travelling is allowed but having so many people who have tested positive for Covid-19 coming to the Eastern Cape undermines the good work that we have been doing and continue doing,” she said.

“Why the 56 people were not tested in the Western Cape is beyond me. We need all provinces to work together in containing the spread of this virus,” she said.

There were also 78 people who had travelled from Cape Town who were intercepted in Elliotdale.

Another 110 people had to be rerouted to Mphekweni and Fish River in Port Alfred for screening and testing by health officials. They had also travelled from the Western Cape.

All their contacts are being traced and will be tested, according to Gomba.

Gomba said: “We would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and loved ones of the people who have died.”

She said claims had been made that there was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers at facilities.

“This could not be any further from the truth as we have established that the PPE is piling up at some of the facilities that have seen workers striking because of what they claim is a shortage of the equipment.”

She said the department would investigate why some workers had embarked on strikes.

She said the 388 recoveries from the disease were testament to the hard work of the department.

“Most importantly people must adhere to the regulations and stay home, wash their hands frequently with soap or sanitiser and practise social distancing.”

She said more results regarding those entering the Eastern Cape were expected from th eNational Health Laboratory Services.

HeraldLIVE reported on Saturday that 54 people had been infected after attending two funerals in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Burials in KwaDwesi and Zwide saw

167 people testing positive as of Saturday. It is not clear how many live in the Bay.

The Zwide funeral was held on April 4, when the lockdown was already in full effect. Nine people tested positive — along with one child under the age of nine — after attending.

And as Covid-19 continued to spread in the city, 45 people who attended a March 21 funeral in KwaDwesi tested positive.

One, a 66-year-old retired nurse, from Central,  died on April 9 after being admitted to Livingstone Hospital.


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