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Western Cape Premier Alan Winde is investigating whether the “blunt instrument” of mini-lockdowns in the province might be needed to stop the rising numbers of new Covid-19 cases

He warned that growth week-on-week of new Covid-19 cases was too high, and so the province was investigating options to bring it under control.

“We all need to play our part in making sure that we slow this down, because the last thing in the world that we need is any kind of blunt instrument like a further lockdown,” said Winde in a video his Facebook page.

“We are investigating what are the options – mini-lockdowns – or what are those options that are blunt instruments that we can use,” he said.

“But that’s the last thing that I would want to implement here in the province.”

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He urged people to scale down year-end functions, or even scale them back completely and donate the money to someone in need rather.

He said: “We need to think about all of those family events this summer season, they need to be scaled down so that we keep this virus at bay.”

The Western Cape government sounded the alarm of a resurgence that is putting hospitals on the Garden Route in particular under strain.

A hotspot alert has already been issued for the Garden Route, where George and Knysna sub-districts have more cases than at any point during the pandemic.

Many of the cases are pinned along the N2 which eventually links to the Eastern Cape, which is also struggling with a surge.

George under pressure

The George Municipality has been issuing announcements on the closure of public facilities such as the libraries in George, Conville and Blanco until Tuesday, due to Covid-19, and that the motor vehicle registration centre in Hibernia street is under-staffed due to Covid-19, and that municipal sports facilities in George are closed as a precaution.

The provincial government has already warned that the City of Cape Town is following a similar trajectory regarding new cases, and has issued a hot spot alert for the city.

On 25 November, the West Cape government said that over the past seven days the Garden Route had seen a 117% increase in new Covid-19 cases and a 96% increase in deaths, and urged residents to be cautious and vigilant.

There were 1 282 new cases and 25 new deaths over the past seven days up to 25 November on the Garden Route.

Although the actual case numbers are still relatively low, there are fears of community transmissions.

The health department in the province said Winde had held a strategy session over what to do about the resurgence.

“One way of doing so correctly is through law enforcement which will be used through the Joint Operations Centres,” said spokesperson Mark van der Heever.

“The Cabinet will discuss various interventions and once more information becomes available on the interventions these will be communicated.”

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