SA town cuts itself off as residents agree to isolate

Kliprand is in its second week of isolation after almost a quarter of its 250 residents tested positive for Covid-19.
Image: Ina Fassbender/AFP/Getty Images

A South African farming community about five hours’ drive north of Cape Town has closed its only food store and its school after the residents agreed to a self-imposed stay-at-home order.

Kliprand is in its second week of isolation after almost a quarter of its 250 residents tested positive for Covid-19.

With the closest hospital about two hours away and a round trip costing about R400 ($28), for many residents the risks involved in trying to get the medical care they might urgently require are too high. In any case, the hospital may be full just when they need it — at the time the shutdown started, there were also only about 15 beds free.

“Self-isolation is also to avoid a situation where other persons moving through the town become infected and spread it to further locations,” David Joubert, a district municipality accounting officer, said by phone. “That would be irresponsible.”

Inequality, among South Africa’s long-standing challenges, has put a goal of inoculating two-thirds of the population this year in doubt. A slow vaccination rollout means only about 4% of the national population has had any shots, just as a third wave of infections accompanies the arrival of mid-winter.

Sheltering-at-home has its own risks for this remote community. Ordering supplies online for delivery isn’t a readily available option.

Still, the effort made by Kliprand’s residents has not gone unnoticed. Communities from some of the closest towns have donated canned foods, vegetables, bread and other essentials. Representatives from a school in Vredendal, to the south, drove almost 100 miles to donate items such as disinfectant, sugar and flour.

“Kliprand is very small, an outbreak there touches everyone,” said Riaan Van der Watt, the head of Vredendal’s primary school.

© 2021 Bloomberg

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Just one bakkie with vaccine and a few nurses in a mini bus and this whole town can be inoculated in one day. Yes?

I agree. I’ve driven past Kliprand en route to Pofadder. It’s tiny. Don’t swerve for the chicken in the road, you’ll miss the town.

Supposed to wait 90 days after recovery before getting vaccine or get it before sick so I suppose it’s too late to prevent an outbreak in the middle of one.

Though the same would be true of any number of small rural settlements.

But yes, isolation is only a holding strategy until vaccination arrives, and it may be a long wait. It’s not clear what the endgame is here, do they reopen if the % of positives drops below a certain level ?

Chris, that would be far too simple. First they would have to have a meeting of the “top six”. Then a commission of enquiry would be set up to decide the way forward. The job would then be given to a BEE tenderpreneur who would do a half baked job at 3 times the going rate and leave most of the town unnvaccinated after he has been paid in full. This is the correct ANC way.

Just for the record, Kliprand is in the Western Cape, but I wonder if the DA even knows that.

yeah but healthcare is national. DA is ineffective because the communists in JHB have consolidated power.

Depends on who gets the tender to buy the bakkie

….”Government, among South Africa’s long-standing challenges, has put a goal of inoculating two-thirds of the population this year in doubt. ”
….
corrected

End of comments.

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