WESTERN CAPE NEWS - While the Garden Route has had a total of 5 Covid-19 fatalities, the Western Cape has lost 16 more lives to the virus since yesterday, Saturday 30 May.
This brings the total fatalities in the province to 488.
“We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time. Since the lockdown began, the Western Cape Government has been hard at work to ensure expand and prepare our provincial healthcare system and to put systems in place to reduce the spread,” Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde said in a statement this afternoon.
Latest Western Cape figures:
Total confirmed COVID-19 cases - 21103
Total recoveries - 11099
Total deaths - 488
Total active cases (currently infected patients) - 9516
Tests conducted - 155876
Hospital admissions - 891 with 187 in ICU or high care
In the statement, Winde goes on to say: “As part of our planning, we have constructed an 850 bed hospital at the CTICC and work is underway on a 300 bed facility at Brackengate. In Khayelitsha, Medicins Sans Frontiers, working in collaboration with the provincial Department of Health, is close to completion on a 60 bed facility which will provide an extension of the care offered at the Khayelitsha hospital just across the road.
"The Sonstraal Hospital in the Cape Winelands will provide an additional 150 beds. We have built 18 testing and triage sites across the province and secured millions of rands worth of PPE. We have developed a strategy to target each of the hotspot areas in the province. This strategy is being implemented across government departments and in partnership with local government, law enforcement and the private sector.
"We have partnered with taxi operators to create the Red Dot Taxi Service, which transport healthcare workers to and from work, and will transport residents to our quarantine and isolation facilities. We have identified a number of quarantine and isolation facilities, providing thousands of beds. Among them, a 300 bed facility donated by Old Mutual.
"These endeavours have not been simple to achieve however they have been made possible by the hard work and commitment of all of our government departments and our frontline health care workers.
"At the heart of everything that has been done has been partnership- between all three levels of government, between government and the private sector and between government and generous NGOs, and donors who have all played a major part in where we are today.
"But with the peak of the virus expected at the end of June/ beginning of July- our work is far from over. We still face numerous challenges and we will continue to work day and night to ensure that we are able to provide healthcare and humanitarian relief to those who need it. Today, as we prepare for the start of alert level three, I appeal to the residents of the Western Cape to partner with us.
"Every decision we take has the ability to impact how the curve will look in the Western Cape and I am asking every single person to make decisions that will keep them safe and well, that will protect their loved ones, that will help us protect the vulnerable and ultimately, help us to save lives.
"For vulnerable groups: Data from around the world and from our own experience here in the Western Cape shows that people over the age of 55, and those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, hypertension. heart, lung and kidney disease and obesity have a greater risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from Covid-19.
"It is imperative that people in these groups continue to take the lockdown very seriously. People in these groups must remain at home and continue to take the necessary precautions to ensure that they remain safe under alert level 3.
"The Western Cape Department of Health has put in place a medicine delivery system for stable, chronic patients. Community Healthcare Workers, in partnership with Uber will deliver medicine to patients' homes so that they do not have to go to a medical facility and wait in queues to fetch medication.
"The Western Cape Government's testing strategy currently favours healthcare workers, and vulnerable groups. If you feel unwell, or are experiencing any of the common symptoms such as a fever, cough or a sore throat, stay at home and call the provincial hotline on 021 428 4102 for further guidance on what steps to take.
"For employers: Many businesses will re-open tomorrow and many more people will return to work. In the Western Cape, we have seen a number of infection clusters occur in essential workplaces which were operational during alert levels five an four. Business owners and management must take responsibility to ensure that they are protecting their staff and their customers.
"This includes ensuring that the workplace is regularly sanitised and that proper hygiene measures such as hand washing, and sanitizing are in place and that the appropriate protective gear is provided for the situation. Physical distancing must also be observed at all times- whether it be in how an office space is configured, or the number of people allowed into a store, or public space at a time.
"Employers who have staff who fall into the risk groups must make arrangements to ensure that they are sufficiently protected."
Businesses that need to report an infection can now do so by filling in this form: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/reporting-covid-19-workplace
Businesses not complying with the regulations should be reported to the Department of Labour or using this online form: coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/reporting-covid-19-workplace
"For those returning to work- please ensure that in everything you do - safety precautions are top of mind. This includes regular handwashing, keeping a physical distance and taking the appropriate measures when you return home, especially if you live with someone in one of the risk groups.
"If you travel to work using public transport, the Western Cape Government's Department of Transport and Public Works has created a reporting mechanism to report unsafe vehicles.
"Residents using public transport can dial *134*234# from their mobile phone to report overfull minibus, midibus, metered or e-hailing taxis, drivers who are not wearing masks, or taxis not supplying hand sanitisers on board. Where people encounter unsafe business practices or public transport, we urge them to report it and help to stop the spread.
"For individuals: The alert level 3 regulations represent a considerable relaxation of the rules but they still place a number of restrictions on our movement. Visiting with family and friends, exercising in groups and attending large gatherings is still forbidden.
"We understand that many people miss their families and friends tremendously and would like to see them but the risk of potentially infecting a loved one, is a high price to pay. Internationally and at home, we have seen how large gatherings have contributed to the further spread of the coronavirus and must therefore be avoided at this time.
"As more sectors of the economy start to open up and more people return to work we will naturally see more people moving around. When outside of your home, ensure that you are always wearing you mask, in conjunction with regular hand cleaning and social distancing.
"Alcohol sales will also resume as from tomorrow and we appeal to residents not to rush out and stand in long queues where social distancing cannot be maintained, in order to buy alcohol. We also call on residents to consume alcohol responsibly.
"Research and experience have shown that excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for many harms in South African communities including addiction, violence, domestic abuse and road accidents, which all have significant psychosocial consequences and which can put our hospitals and our health services under additional pressure.”
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