As of January 15, there were 156 active cases, an increase from 78 cases reported on December 23 said the Department of Social Development (DSD) on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters
As of January 15, there were 156 active cases, an increase from 78 cases reported on December 23 said the Department of Social Development (DSD) on Wednesday. Picture: Reuters

Rising Covid-19 infections in Western Cape old-age homes a concern

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jan 22, 2021

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Cape Town – More than 2 000 residents than at old-age homes in the Western Cape have recovered from Covid-19.

This was revealed by the Department of Social Development (DSD) on Wednesday. There are 300 old-age homes in the province, of which 117 are funded by the department.

About 2 085 seniors have recovered from Covid-19 in the province. The department has, however, raised concerns over an increase in active infections among this vulnerable group.

As of January 15, there were 156 active cases, an increase from 78 cases reported on December 23. Minister Sharna Fernandez said the department would continue to monitor these on a weekly basis.

“It is of great concern that the number of active cases across private homes is double the number of active cases across DSD-funded homes,” said Fernandez.

Private old-age homes recorded 104 active cases and DSD homes 52.

“We have sent out an urgent notice to all old-age homes to inform them about our concerns, and have asked that they pay heed to the protocols developed by the provincial DSD and Department of Health, which guide the management and referrals of Covid-19 outbreaks at homes.”

Although national regulations allow for visits to old-age homes, many have decided to temporarily suspend or limit visits, to ensure residents are protected against any possible exposure to the virus.

“To those family members who want to visit their loved ones in old-age homes, I urge you to postpone the visit if you show any symptoms or have come into contact with anyone who has displayed symptoms or tested positive for Covid-19,” said Fernandez.

The department was not able to provide information on the total number of infections and deaths among residents of old-age homes since the start of the pandemic and deaths due to the virus.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape recorded 27 110 active Covid-19 infections, 259 070 confirmed cases and 222 384 recoveries made as of 1pm yesterday.

This is according to the daily Covid-19 pandemic update provided by Premier Alan Winde.

To date, 9 576 people have died of the virus in the province. At present, 3 348 people have been hospitalised due to the virus with 517 patients in ICU or high care. Around 117 9973 Covid-19 tests have been conducted across the private and public sectors.

Winde said: “It is important that we continue to do everything possible to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe during this time.

“Please remember to wear a clean cloth mask that covers your nose and mouth, to avoid crowds, close contact and confined spaces, and to always wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitiser.”

Cape Argus

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