NATIONAL NEWS AND VIDEO - Premier Alan Winde in a press statement issued today, Wednesday 11 March, said the first laboratory-confirmed case of Covid-19 (commonly referred to as the coronavirus) in the Western Cape is a 36-year-old male in the City of Cape Town.
He presented himself to a private healthcare facility with flu-like symptoms and a recent travel history to Europe.
“As per set procedures, medical professionals ensured that the person was kept in isolation for the last 48 hours - since 9 March - until the laboratory tests could be confirmed. Our outbreak response team has been activated with health authorities (including the City of Cape Town), in association with the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), and the team is following up all the known contacts of this patient,” said Winde.
He said contacts, including those on the flight, will be followed up and monitored for the next two weeks, as per the World Health Organisation guidelines. The travel history and movements of the person will be traced in order to ensure containment.
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“Earlier this week, I activated the joint operations centre (JOC) to ensure our preparedness to respond to the coronavirus and 7 work-streams have been established to ensure a coordinated response. I have convened a Special Cabinet on Friday where we will receive a report back on their work.”
Winde said every resident of the Western Cape has a role to play in limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
“Firstly, it is important that we stay calm and follow the direction of the NICD regarding testing and, if necessary, isolation. They are following international best-practice and have your and your fellow residents’ best interest at heart.
“Secondly, if you have flu-like symptoms and have travelled internationally or have been in contact with someone who has travelled internationally, you should call the dedicated Coronavirus Hotline, operated by the NICD, on 0800 029 999.
“Thirdly, we can help protect ourselves and our families by practising good hygiene, such as washing our hands regularly and thoroughly and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the corner of your arm.”
More information on basic good hygiene practises can be found on the dedicated webpage.
Winde called on citizens to refrain from spreading fake news. “We really need to verify all information first. Spreading panic will only make responding more difficult. We must highlight that in the majority of cases the virus presents mildly and there is a significantly high recovery rate.
“It is important that we go on with our daily lives while following these basic steps. I promise you that I will keep you updated on all developments.”
The following official channels contain important information and can be contacted:
- Provincial Facebook page.
- The provincial landing page for coronavirus information.
- Public Hotline: 0800 029 999
- World Health Organisation (WHO) contact page.
- Alida de Beer, George Herald
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