WESTERN CAPE NEWS - The Western Cape has recorded 1618 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection.
The province has also recorded one more death - a 63 year old woman with comorbidities-bringing the total number of deaths to 33.
We send our condolences to her loved ones at this time.
Khayelitsha Testing and Triage Centre
Today I had the opportunity to visit the newly completed testing and triage centre at the Khayelitsha Hospital. This is one of 17 such planned facilities which will be rolled out in the province. These facilities have been designed to relieve the pressure on emergency services, and allow for patients to be tested, assessed and assisted separately from the other services.
These temporary facilities are part of our efforts to ensure that our health care system will not be overwhelmed once we reach the peak infections t, and that we are able to provide appropriate care and assistance to our communities.
We have already rolled out similar facilities in Mitchells Plain and Paarl and have a number of others currently under construction to come online soon.
Together with our community screening and testing programme, these facilities are an important part of our testing response. The Western Cape has been focusing its testing on identifying pockets of infection or “bush fires” so that where there is an infection, we can identify all the contacts associated with that patient, and screen or test them as required. This active case finding approach is a key pillar of our health department’s response strategy.
A number of the “bushfires” we have identified have been in places where people are able to gather under lockdown regulations; supermarkets, public transport and places of work, where people are employed as essential workers.
Social distancing must become part of our everyday lives for the foreseeable future. Whether its standing in a queue in a supermarket, queuing to collect a social grant, or in the workplace, whether it be an office, or a factory, keeping a physical distance of 1.5 metres is as important as handwashing and wearing a mask, for stopping the spread.
Businesses, whether they will be opening under level four, or in a later level, should all be preparing their plans now, for how they will operate when they are allowed to reopen. This includes the hygiene measures they intend to implement, and how they will ensure social distancing in the workplace. This may include increased numbers of shifts, with fewer people on each, or that some staff continue to work from home.
Careful planning now is essential to ensure that as we open up our economy even further, we are not putting those people who are returning to work, at increased risk of infection.
Freedom Day message
Today, we celebrate those South Africans who fought tirelessly for our freedom, often at a heavy personal cost. We remember their sacrifices, and the multitude of freedoms we have won in democratic South Africa.
The country currently faces the massive challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we should use today as a reminder of what we as a nation have been able to accomplish by working together.
Premier Alan Winde was at Khayelitsha Hospital today to see the newly completed triage and testing facility.
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