Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency
Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency

This is why Western Cape should move to level 3 - Premier

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 19, 2020

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Cape Town - Over the past  weekend Western Cape Premier Alan Winde delivered his presentation to the President’s Coordinating Council, setting out why the province should move to level three of the lockdown at the end of the month. 

The province has a comprehensive plan to target areas where the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, provide support for the public healthcare sector and jump-start the economy.

Winde shared the details of the presentation with the public on Tuesday.

Targeted hotspot strategy

In the presentation, the premier set out the Western Cape's adoption of a targeted hotspot strategy that Winde said would allow the provincial government to focus on geographical areas where the virus is spreading in order to slow it down and protect vulnerable people.

He added that this strategy, however, allows for more of the economy to open while doing so, thereby preventing a severe humanitarian crisis from unfolding at the same time.

Based on scientific evidence, and in conjunction with targeted interventions through its hotspot strategy, the premier believes the entire Western Cape can move to level 3. His full presentation, which can be read here, included previously reported information.

It has previously been reported that R725.5 million has been committed towards Covid-19 related expenditure across all sectors of the provincial government.

The premier added that among the measure includes the conversion of the CTICC into a temporary hospitall facility that will provide some 850 additional beds at the peak of the pandemic; he said they also estimate that 200 admissions and 200 discharges will be managed per day during the peak.

Additional temporary hospitals along the R300 in the Metro, in Khayelitsha and in the Cape Winelands that collectively provide an additional 616 beds. which is above the Western Cape’s 2 162 (includes 658 through expansion) general care beds and 150 ICU beds in the province.

The numbers

He said that the Western Cape has opened 18 testing and triage centres (12 are already operational) to provide additional support at these facilities. The province also has 3 888 Community Health Workers, with a further 464 due to start work soon, and even recruited 1 645 volunteers to support them.

The province has also increased the number of tests from 7 975 on 1 April to 94 275 on 18 May. Using its targeted hotspot approach, 473 348 people have been screened, and 12 095 people referred for testing; the online screening tool has further assisted in screening 62 200 people.

"We have ordered R350 487 835.00 million worth of PPE so that our healthcare workers have the protection they need to care for every sick person. We aim to procure R550 million worth of PPE over the course of the pandemic. In the public sector we have provided 86 129 flu vaccinations thus far – 65 670 vaccinations to vulnerable groups of people and 20 459 vaccinations to healthcare workers.

"We have 432 ventilators and have ordered an additional 100 ventilators to be used at the peak and use our current piped medical gas for high-flow oxygen treatment," Winde said. 

He added that the Western Cape has 19 quarantine and isolation facilities available offering 2 365 beds, and was activating an additional 9 facilities which will release an additional 2 292 beds.

Transport for healthcare workers

Today, the provincial government also launched the Red Dot Transport Service, that through 100 minibus taxis, will transport healthcare workers home when their shift ends at 19h00, given the limitation on the public transport system which under the lockdown reguations cannot operate after 19h00.

"The Red Dot Transport Service will also safely transport those who test positive for Covid-19 to facilities if they cannot isolate safely at home and others to quarantine facilities should they need it," he said.

Cape Argus

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