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Source: South Africa News Agency

Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in the Eastern Cape has called on residents to remain vigilant and exercise caution as the number of new COVID-19 cases rose in the past week.

There are now 247 active COVID-19 cases, while the metro has been recording an average of 30 daily new cases, compared to the previous two weeks.

“These are the statistics tabled at the Command Centre meeting, which sat this week,” read a statement issued by the city on Thursday.

Buffalo City has three major towns, namely East London, King William’s Town and Mdantsane.

According to the municipality, most cluster outbreaks have been reported in Quigney, East London, while the majority of patients are students from the University of Fort Hare and Walter Sisulu University, and surrounding residential areas.

Meanwhile, a high resurgence of COVID-19 cases in October has been observed in the East London sub-district.

Quarantine sites

According to the latest COVID-19 statistics tabled at the Command Centre, as of 2 November, the number of tests performed is 92 802, while the recovery rate is over 90%.

The latest data revealed that Buffalo City reported 615 new cases last month.

“Even though the number of recently diagnosed SARS-CoV-2 cases has increased significantly in October 2020, the encouraging part is the recovery rate that is at 94%,” the city said.

The municipality said there are no patients currently admitted in the Eastern Cape Department of Health quarantine sites, while the currently infected patients are in self-isolation.

The University of Fort Hare patients, who were isolated in Bhisho Hospital, were discharged on Friday, and the hospital now has 40 quarantine beds available.

“The total number of privately owned beds available for isolation and quarantine is 283 beds,” said the city.

Burden of disease

The Command Centre observed that while there is a spike in the infection rate, there is a reduction of the burden of disease in Buffalo City.

“Males are at a higher risk of dying due to SARS-CoV-2 related causes than the female population.

“The risk of dying increases with the increase in the age of the individuals,” the city said.

The common comorbidities noted include hypertension, diabetes, HIV and obesity.

The hospitalisation of patients, who tested positive, continues to decrease, especially in August and September.

Inspections

The municipality is on a drive to inspect food premises, early childhood education centres, old age homes, undertakers, and mortuaries.

Meanwhile, the decontamination, fumigation and rodent baiting programmes are continuing across Buffalo City.

“We call upon businesses to exercise caution, ensure that staff and customers wear masks, that they screen everyone and enforce social distancing,” said the city.

It called on alcohol selling establishments to adhere to all the strict Disaster Management Act regulations.

“We further call on the people of Buffalo City not to compromise their safety and alert law enforcement authorities whenever there are transgressions.”

Hotspots

Buffalo City has identified several areas that need attention to curb the spread of further infections.

Bhisho/KWT: Acorn Valley, Breibach, Noncampa Location, Rhayi West Location, Tyutyu Village, Sweetwaters, Dikidikana Location.

East London: Amalinda (Haven Hills, Rosedale, Winchester Gardens), Beacon Bay, Braelyn, Buffalo Flats, Cambridge, Duncan Village, Gonubie, Kwelera, Mooiplaas, Nahoon, Ncerha Newlands, Quigney, Scenery Park, Sunnyridge and Winterstrand.

Mdantsane: Zone 2, 3, 8, 13, 15, 17 and 18. – SAnews.gov.za

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