Limpopo emerging as key concern as second wave rages across South Africa

Health authorities raise alarm as province reports highest number of new cases since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the 24-hour period leading into Friday, the province recorded 1,653 positive cases, with the cumulative death toll now at 647. This is the highest number of new cases reported by the province since the pandemic started. At present, the province’s active cases count is at 7,985. Amid the spike in new cases, the province’s Department of Health commenced work to increase bed capacity as hospitals report increasing constraints. The Health MEC Phopi Ramathuba said: “If private facilities can also be empowered and get more beds for their patients, then they will alleviate the workload.”

The province had seemed to be doing better than most of its counterparts when it was recording about 20 cases a day at the start of December. Since then, the numbers had skyrocketed, with social gatherings such as funerals emerging as superspreaders. Worried that community members are treating such gatherings as though all is normal, the MEC urged the province to be more vigilant. The Capricorn district has emerged as the hardest hit in the province having reported a total of 623 new infections. It is followed by the Vhembe District at 408 and the Mopani District at 253.