The city has fast become the Covid-19 epicentre in the province.
This is according to the Health MEC, Phophi Ramathuba, as Polokwane in the last week recorded an increase of on average, 23 new cases on a daily basis.
By Wednesday, Limpopo had recorded 1 965 cases, of which 265 active cases are based in Polokwane.
The MEC has ascribed the increase to residents’ recklessness and disregard for the national lockdown and its regulations.
This, she said, was because Polokwane was not typical of cluster outbreaks, but rather that of individual transmission.
“The cases in Polokwane are not like those in Sekhukhune, for example, where we saw a huge outbreak in one spot. The cases we are recording here are from households, where one person contracts the virus and passes it on. We have not had a single instance where the cases were clustered around one institution or location. There are no cluster outbreaks in Polokwane.”
She has pleaded with local residents to stay at home, especially those who have underlying diseases as they are at a higher risk of contracting Covid-19.
“People who have comorbidities are the ones we are particularly concerned about,” she said.
According to Ramathuba, ordinary residents are not heeding the call by the president to stay at home and follow the safety regulations.
“People are roaming the streets for no reason at all. Go to the mall and you find people wearing masks under their chins and the only time they sanitise is because someone asks them to do so. These people then go home having been in an environment which is densely populated and where they unknowingly could have contracted the virus.”
She said there was nothing more the department could do to curb the surge in cases in Polokwane, and that each person’s health primarily remains their own responsibility.
“We have made sure that the facilities in Polokwane are ready to receive patients, but there is no way we can force people to observe the regulations in their own homes.”
Story: Umpha Manenzhe