Devasting news as Newcastle is declared a COVID-19 hotspot

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As the pandemic rapidly spreads within South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal finds itself shrouded under a cloud of fear and uncertainty. COVID-19 setting its roots deeply within the province.

This follows KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala’s unnerving statement regarding the coronavirus. A statement which does not necessarily bode well for people within the province.

“KwaZulu-Natal is now in the eye of the storm. The picture has dramatically changed. We have now arrived at a point where almost everyone knows somebody who has been infected with Covid-19. It is no longer a disease from the distance, it is here at home.

Zikalala emphasises that the number of infections has risen to such an extent, that those who doubted COVID-19’s existence, can no longer live in denial.

“It is real; and it is deadly. It is therefore time to change behaviour. This is the time to muster the courage to do the right things, such as wearing of masks, washing our hands with soap, and social distancing.”

Zikalala explains one of the biggest issues is that people are only seeking professional medical assistance when it is too late.

“We are concerned by the late presentation of COVID-19 patients to our healthcare facilities. When we engage with doctors and nurses, we get given anecdotal evidence that seems to suggest that our people are relying a little too much on alternative treatments, and only coming to our facilities when it is too late. With COVID-19, as with every other ailment, time is of the essence.”

While he says the government is not against alternative and traditional medicine, they are rather, encouraging people to use an integrated approach in fighting COVID-19.

With the number of COVID-19 cases nearing 40 000 in KZN, Ziklala says the government has identified hot spots within the province.

It is within these areas that Newcastillians are now facing a daunting challenge.

Newcastle, Osizweni and Madadeni have been identified as hotspots.

In fact, such is the impact of the pandemic within our area, that Zikalala explains a number of patients are now not only finding themselves hospitalised but finding themselves as high care patients in ICU.

Read more: Local GP, Dr Francois van Niekerk discusses COVID-19 in Newcastle

The KZN Department of Health released the latest figures on confirmed COVID-19 cases this morning, July 28.

Currently, there is a staggering 3 570 confirmed cases within our community. The number of deaths has risen to 40.  However, the number of recoveries stands at 2495.

With the number of cases increasing dramatically in our area, people are being encouraged to follow the necessary protocols. By wearing your face mask, practising social distance and avoiding mass gatherings, you can help curb the spread of COVID-19.

As the Amajuba District is now a hot spot, be sure to follow the necessary guidelines. Before it spreads further within our community.

Read more: Dr Regina Hurley, the chair of the Mediclinic Newcastle COVID-19 task team, sheds light on the pandemic

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