104 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past four days at Beitbridge border post, Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba has announced.
As a result, the Limpopo department of health is calling on all people coming to South Africa through Beitbridge to self-quarantine before interacting with others upon arrival at their destinations.
The MEC, along with Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, visited the Beitbridge border post to monitor compliance on Sunday as people gathered at the port in an attempt to get into South Africa.
This comes after 10 people tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday, and an additional 20 on Sunday.
“These are not South Africans. Covid-19 is a reality even among our neighbours.
“With thousands of people stuck at the port for days while waiting for their entry into the country to be processed, the department is worried that the events at the border are fast becoming a super spreader.
Considering the incubation period of the virus, we wish to implore those who will be crossing from Beitbridge to do the right thing and self-quarantine because they have been exposed to a potential super spreader,” said Ramathuba.
In the past 24 hours, the province has recorded 1575 positive cases, which is the highest figure to be recorded in a reporting cycle in the province since the first case of Covid-19.
Capricorn district recorded 623 new cases, the highest in the province, while Polokwane municipality remained on high alert. Vhembe district has seen a sharp increase with 408 new cases, with Thulamela municipality being a focus point, followed by Mopani District with 253 new cases.
“The increase in numbers is quite concerning considering that during the beginning of December, the province would only record around 20 cases per 24-hour counting cycle. These escalating figures paints a worrying picture of community members not following Covid-19 safety protocols during the recent festive season.”
Ramathuba said the province was paying the price of social gatherings, Christmas parties and weddings, which were seen during the month of December.
“As the virus attacks indiscriminately during this second wave, we need to see real behaviour change from our people in order to make a real difference,” said Ramathuba.
Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde