WESTERN CAPE NEWS - In a media statement earlier today, premier Alan Winde said that the Western Cape recorded its 100 000th recovery today.
Today, the Western Cape recorded its 100 000th recovery, which is an incredible symbol of hope.
COVID-19 is a serious illness, which has resulted in the devastating loss of many lives around the world, but the fact that so many people have been able to recover in the Western Cape, makes the hard work to save lives worth it.
The Western Cape has also seen significant reductions in the numbers of cases, deaths and admissions since the peak was experienced.
As a result, our healthcare services have more available capacity, which allows us to focus on rolling out other healthcare services. The Western Cape Department of Health has devised a strategy which will allow us to roll out those healthcare services with the least amount of COVID-19 infection risk, and the biggest impact on people’s health.
These include immunisations and TB treatment.
Immunisations are an important healthcare tool, which help to manage illness and prevent outbreaks. We have seen a reduction in the uptake of immunisations over the COVID-19 period, but we are working hard to ensure that we are able to catch up.
This is evident in our June data for immunisations which indicates a higher number of immunisations in both rural and metro areas, when compared with the same month in 2018 and 2019.
The Western Cape also saw a decline of 47% in TB testing and a 33% decline in the number of people diagnosed with TB in June 2020, when compared with historical data. Many of the country’s testing labs were overwhelmed with COVID-19 testing at the peak of the pandemic, and this will have impacted our TB testing ability.
With capacity now available in the testing system, our focus is on rapidly increasing GeneXpert testing for TB over the next six months.
We have also seen a decline in the number of surgeries being performed in the province. Ensuring that we are able to ramp up surgeries safely is complex, as patients need to be tested before surgery and social distancing protocols still need to be observed. The Department of Health has tasked a dedicated team to determine the best way forward to ensure that we are able to re-introduce operations safely.
Throughout April, May and June, headcounts at primary healthcare facilities in the province dropped to about 250 000 per month, from around 400 000 in previous years. While our intention is to scale up healthcare services, we want to ensure that we are able to maintain the 250 000 as a new baseline figure. This will prevent overcrowding and ensure that we can offer the best possible service to our residents.
We can use some of our COVID experiences and projects in order to maintain this. The Department of Health intends to continue with home-based medicine deliveries for stable, chronic patients, which ensures that patients do not have to go to a healthcare facility just to pick up their medication. Our management of diabetic patients with COVID-19 has also shown us that there is space for the introduction of a call centre or “telemedicine” for ongoing patient care post-COVID-19.
While we roll out additional healthcare services, it remains vital that we continue to focus on COVID-19, to ensure that we are able to keep new infections low, or to detect any signs of a resurgence, early on.
This requires all of us to continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes wearing your mask correctly when you leave home, continuing with hand washing and other hygiene practices, and keeping a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and any other person when you go out. By continuing to make these simple measures part of our daily lives and routines, we can stay safe, and move forward.
Update on the coronavirus
As of 13:00 on 10 September, the Western Cape has 2989 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 107 229 confirmed cases and 100 220 recoveries.
Garden Route district
- Bitou - 604 cases, 551 recoveries
- Knysna - 1420 cases, 1310 recoveries
- George - 3437 cases, 3181 recoveries
- Hessequa - 288 cases, 262 recoveries
- Kannaland - 111 cases, 108 recoveries
- Mossel Bay - 2270 cases, 2111 recoveries
- Oudtshoorn - 1308 cases, 1059 recoveries
Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.
More data is available here.
The Western Cape has recorded an additional 11 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 4020. We send our condolences to their family and friends at this time.
A note on today's data
The Western Cape has recorded 529 new cases today which is higher than the daily average we have seen over the past few weeks. This is partly to do with data delays and the addition of some historic cases. Additionally, the Western Cape has expanded its testing criteria in the Cape Metro including the following categories of people: pre-operative testing of asymptomatic patients, people who have died at home from natural causes, public sector "essential workers" with symptoms, incarcerated people with symptoms, learners and school staff with symptoms and workers with symptoms. In the past 24 hours, we have conducted over 3700 tests, which is a significant increase on previous daily numbers which averaged between about 1000 to 2000 tests daily before.
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