South Africa’s Western Cape officials warn of COVID-19 resurgence

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - APRIL 30: Health workers screen for COVID-19 in Wynberg Main Road on April 30, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. It is reported that mass community screenings and testing are key in fighting the pandemic, and help authorities determine where resources need to be deployed. (Photo by Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – APRIL 30: Health workers screen for COVID-19 in Wynberg Main Road on April 30, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

South Africa’s Western Cape province is experiencing a resurge of COVID-19 cases, its premier, Alan Winde said on Wednesday after new cases jumped 52.1 percent in the past week.

The Western Cape, home to the country’s tourist hub, Cape Town, was the first regional hotspot in Africa towards the end of March. The virus spread via tourists into local communities following the first confirmed positive case in South Africa earlier that month.

“The Western Cape government is deeply concerned about the growing number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations in the province, which can now be considered as an established resurgence,” Winde said.

The premier, while issuing a hotspot alert for the city of Cape Town’s metro of about 4.million people, said a resurgence occurred when the number of active cases increased week-on-week by more than 20 percent.

“There is also now established community transmission of the virus again in this province, which means that it is spreading within communities at a faster rate,” he said, adding that since the start of November, COVID-19 hospitalizations across the province have increased by 63 percent.

There were 962 hospitalizations in the province, with 183 patients in intensive care units as of Wednesday, he said.

The total number of infections had reached 126,362.

South Africa has recorded the highest number of coronavirus infections on the African continent, with more than 760,000 confirmed cases and more than 20,000 deaths.

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