VIDEO: First cases of coronavirus on Cape Flats, SANDF reservists called up

Cape Town – For the first time since the Covid-19 outbreak pandemic, infections of the deadly disease have been recorded in Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha.

Five cases were reported in Mitchells Plain and one in Khayelitsha.

Nationally 1 280 people have been infected thus far.

Releasing the provincial figures on Sunday, Premier Alan Winde said the provincial government had “very serious” concerns over the infections in the Western Cape’s largest townships

The province has 310 people infected, the majority (256) in the Cape Town metro, Winde announced yesterday. There has been an increase in the number of infectees hospitalised in the province, he said

Of the 14 people currently in hospital, three were in intensive care, Winde said He urged all residents to abide by the lockdown regulations.

Meanwhile the South African Defence Force (SANDF) called on reserve force members to assist in the fight to control Covid- 19 in line with the National Disaster Management Act.

Spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said the act provided for the defence force to release additional personnel to a national organ of state.

Dlamini said the SANDF would be deployed in various capacities in the implementation of the national lockdown to execute a broad plan of urban and rural operations.

“Similarly, the SA Military Health Service has called up reserve doctors, nurses and operational emergency care practitioners together with teams to work with other health practitioners in various fields,” he said.

Good Party secretary-general Brett Herron said: “We are in unprecedented and uncertain times. Our number one priority must be to contain the spread of the virus.”

He said failure to contain the virus would result in a catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. “South Africa does not have the luxury of the choice to take any short cuts; if this virus spreads widely it will be devastating. The devastation will be humanitarian and economic,” he said.

This comes as over 200 people were arrested in the Western Cape over the weekend for allegedly disobeying the country’s lockdown rules, which officially started at midnight on Thursday.

Police Minister Bheki Cele, his deputy Cassel Mathale, national police commissioner Khehla Sitole and provincial police management visited lockdown operations in Khayelitsha and Delft over the weekend to determine adherence to lockdown restrictions.

Ahead of the lockdown operation, Cele commenced with a briefing warning of consequences for those who attempt to leave their homes unless for essential purposes such as buying groceries, seeking medical attention, collecting grants, buying medication or emergencies.

He said the Western Cape was leading the number of arrests, and confirmed that there were more than 200 arrests made in the province.

Cele and the police management spent their Saturday night with the members on the ground that were on deployment to operational and enforce the lockdown.

Hundreds of members were deployed to complement other arms of law enforcement.

As soon the briefing ended, motorists in contravention of the regulations were turned back at roadblocks set up in both directions on the N2 and in Spine Road towards Khayelitsha.

In addition, police saturated areas such as Kwa Ace in Khayelitsha, and moved across to Nonkqubela train station, where security guards were not wearing masks and gloves.

They told Cele that their supervisors promised to bring them today.

Residents were greeting Cele as he walked through the streets and some applauded the raids.

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