Laying the blame squarely at the feet of local residents, Acting Mayor Tshonono Buyeye said he would welcome stricter Covid-19 regulations for Nelson Mandela Bay.
He warned that without tougher rules in the city – now a top hotspot for the pandemic – “the virus will spread uncontrollably across the country”.
Buyeye said: “People are dying almost every day and it is in our hands. We must just, this once, sacrifice the things we are used to for the sake of saving people’s lives.”
He said social gatherings remain a major problem, adding “we have not stopped enforcing the law in churches and funerals as those can be serious sources of spreading the virus”.
He referred to videos and pictures of irresponsible social gatherings of people having parties in places such as Zwide and Motherwell.
Buyeye said the city’s infection rate was still on the rise with a total of 3,876 active cases recorded as at 29 November. Uitenhage is leading with active cases, with 514 active cases. Motherwell is a major concern as 275 active cases were recorded there on Sunday.
“Stricter restrictions are needed in the city and we submitted our inputs to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and other stakeholders last week. Everyone is aware of the situation.”
Municipal Disaster Management Chairperson Shane Brown said: “Private hospitals have reached maximum capacity for Covid-19 treatment. While the public hospitals and the field hospital have capacity there is not enough staff to treat patients due to the virus and other work related challenges.”
Video source: Supplied