As the Western Cape ramps up its screenings and testing for Covid-19 as confirmed cases rise, the ANC in the province is calling for the return to level 5 lockdown to be considered.
On Friday, it said the situation in the province was getting worse, with hot spots in the area needing special attention.
“This province faces its biggest health challenge ever and needs to go back to the Level 5 quarantine urgently to slow down infections,” MPL Danville Smith said in a statement.
The ANC added it wanted special lockdown measures implemented to lower the increasing deaths and cases.
There were 535 more confirmed cases in the province by Friday, raising the number to 4,584, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde announced in his daily updates.
Deaths in the province were standing at 87 – up from 76 on Thursday – and include a Tygerberg Hospital nurse.
“The DA-led Western Cape government must face the fact that half of the people infected in South Africa come from this province. Hot spots are also shooting up outside of the Cape Town metro like also in the Witzenberg, Winelands and Stellenbosch municipal areas.
“Large groups of people are exposed to infection at shopping centres, farms and factories. And the numbers are set to rise even higher. The ANC calls for a strong presence of national law officials like the SAPS and SANDF in hot spots.”
The party urged Winde to apply for the special status of being sent back to level 5 through Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“The ANC says the return to Level 5 is an urgent matter that must be seriously considered. All lives matter.”
Speaking at a gathering to receive a donation of personal protection equipment (PPE) from Ithuba Holdings on Thursday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the Western Cape was sitting just below 50% of total confirmed cases in the country.
He added it was experiencing cluster outbreaks and needed mechanisms to deal with the outbreak more strongly in order to reduce the rate of spread.
Mkhize and President Cyril Ramaphosa would visit the province next week.
The province has previously argued that its rapid, active testing approach to put out “bushfires” had naturally seen more cases declared in it.