Cape Town – Nearly half of those who have died in their homes have been infected with Covid-19 in the Eastern Cape, the acting superintendent general of the provincial health department, Sibongile Zungu, said on Wednesday.
“We have tested 363 bodies and at this point almost half were positive,” Zungu said.
She made this statement when she briefed the health portfolio committee on Covid-19 and related health issues.
In his report to the committee, Zungu said all the remains of those who died at the home should be tested for Covid-19.
“Home Affairs is allowed to accept the notification form, traditional rulers, with proof of C19 tests performed at health facilities,” she said.
Zungu said issuing the death certificates did not wait for the results.
She said that since the policy was introduced, the Eastern Cape implemented it around October of last year for logistical reasons.
His report showed that of the 363 bodies tested, 161 tested positive and 202 tested negative.
“This has led us to trace and monitor contacts and to step in where we need to step in.”
Zungu also said that since the beginning of the month, 292 exam markers have tested positive in the province.
She said those infected had been sent home and replacements brought in.
“So far there has been no interruption in scoring of exams. The substitutes have undergone rapid testing to minimize super spreader events,” she said.
According to Zungu, 456 initiates in circumcision tested positive for the virus after 10,354 were tested.
Those who tested positive were: 309 from Chris Hani District; Buffalo City 43; Amathole 48; OR Tambo 29; Alfred Nzo 21; Sarah Baartman 5; and Joe Gqabo one.
Zungu said there had been no incidents of circumcision deaths linked to Covid-19 or linked to the admission of the virus, and that 1,755 illegal insiders had been found.
She further pointed out that the hospital admissions were for different reasons such as dehydration and sepsis, adding among other things that 13 initiates and a traditional medical surgeon have died along with three initiates from unnatural causes due to injuries by ball.