A remote community in the Western Cape has elected to impose a voluntary ‘stay-at-home’ order, after cases spiked in the small town of Kliprand. With a population of roughly 250 people, between 50-60 of the locals have already recently tested positive for COVID-19 – and they aren’t waiting for the government to put them under Level 5 measures.
Where is Kliprand?
Kliprand is the very definition of being ‘out in the sticks’. The town sits in the most northerly part of the Western Cape, sitting next to the border with the Northern Cape. The nearest hospital is over 100km away in Vredendal, and already, 15 beds are occupied by severely ill coronavirus patients.
With roughly one-quarter of its population falling ill, there has been a collective agreement to enter hard lockdown. This comes as the government mulls the imposition of tougher regulations on a national scale – and a move to Level 4 is reportedly under consideration. Gauteng is home to a majority of cases, as its third wave continues to rage.
The Western Cape Town ‘under voluntary hard lockdown’
The ‘self-inflicted’ Level 5 order includes the following restrictions.
- – The only school in Kliprand has been shut down.
- – The Agrimark – Kliprand’s only shop – has also closed its doors.
- – Residents have been reliant on donations of food over the past week, as they’re unable to stock-up.
- – Home delivery and travelling to the next town over for a grocery shop aren’t practical options.
- – It costs about R400 for locals to get to the hospital – a trip they can ill afford, in every sense of the term.
Level 5 in Kliprand… but why?
David Joubert is a district municipality accounting officer, and Kliprand falls under his portfolio. He told Bloomberg that there was a drastic need for residents to self-isolate, so they can stop others from passing on the virus.
“Self-isolation is also necessary, to help avoid a situation where other persons moving through the town of Kliprand become infected with COVID-19 and spread it to further locations. That would be irresponsible.”