Covid-19: Spike in Cape Town cases originated in shopping malls

Covid-19: Spike in Cape Town cases originated in shopping malls

- Covid-19 cases have spiked in Cape Town

- The number of cases is currently doubling in number every 9 days

- There is a backlog of testing due to a lack of materials

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The recent spike in infections in the Western Cape has been traced to the shopping centres during the last few weeks of the hard lockdown.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's special advisor said that this was likely caused in "super spreading events".

Professor Salim Abdool Karim said that the cases in the Western Cape are doubling in size every 9 days which is far faster than the rate in Gauteng which sees cases doubling every 24 days.

Karim said that Cape Town was a warning for the rest of the country as it serves as an early indicator for the spread of the virus that health workers can use to help prepare the rest of the country.

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"We have to look for the flames and douse them before they become raging fires," Karim told a briefing hosted by Mkhize.

The health minister's advisor warned that more outbreaks will come and this is normal for the virus.

"We will see outbreaks, we have seen one in the last few days at the mines, but it is not a reason to panic, it is not a reason to shut everything down," he said.

The National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) has the power to return a region to level 4 or even level 5 if containment measures fail.

Cape Town will receive priority shipments of testing materials to aid in the fight against the virus.

Doctor Kamy Chetty, the CEO of the National Health Laboratory Services has said that there is a backlog of 83 767 tests due to a shortage of testing materials.

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