A memorial service with a bypass of fire engines and emergency vehicles was held on Friday afternoon at the Goodwood community hall for Makosandile Mbhokhwe, divisional commander in the City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Services, who died on Sunday of Covid-19 complications. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
A memorial service with a bypass of fire engines and emergency vehicles was held on Friday afternoon at the Goodwood community hall for Makosandile Mbhokhwe, divisional commander in the City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Services, who died on Sunday of Covid-19 complications. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Western Cape has recorded 60 195 Covid-19 infections

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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Cape Town - The Western Cape has recorded more than 60 195 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 42 636 recoveries.

As of 1pm on Sunday, the province reported 15 822 active cases at the daily update provided by Premier Alan Winde. Around 1 737 have died because of the virus.

The province currently had 3 760 isolation and quarantine facility beds and would soon have an additional 4 766 beds available, said Winde.

He urged residents to make use of these facilities, if they were unable to quarantine and isolate safely at home.

Individuals with severe symptoms and those at high risk of Covid-19 morbidity and mortality will be assessed for the need for hospitalisation.

Those who are symptomatic and do not require hospitalisation will be offered a place at a quarantine (unconfirmed cases of Covid-19) or isolation (confirmed cases of Covid-19) facility.

“More than ever, we need to be compassionate, caring and reject discrimination when it occurs. Anyone can get infected and we all deserve to be treated with respect and kindness when battling this difficult illness,” he said.

In his update on Saturday Winde said: “If you start getting short of breath, you must seek urgent health-care. Those residents with comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension are particularly at high risk of developing a serious illness.”

Meanwhile, a firefighter who succumbed to Covid-19 was honoured in a tribute by the City that saw a guard of honour visit several Cape Town fire stations. Divisional Commander Makosandile Mbhokhwe died in hospital on Sunday, June 21. He is survived by his wife and three children.

The 48-year-old firefighter was based at the Fire and Rescue Service training academy in Epping.

The City said in a statement: “Divisional Commander Makosandile Mbhokhwe will be sorely missed by his colleagues. He was a credit to the Fire and Rescue Service and was also named Officer of the Year at the 2018 Safety and Security Annual Awards - a testament to his calibre and contribution to the service.”

Mayco member for safety and security JP Smith said Mbhokhwe was the first firefighter to die of the virus.

“The City expresses its heartfelt condolences to his family and friends during this very difficult time, as well as his colleagues. This is the first staff member that the Fire and Rescue Service has lost to Covid-19, and we hope the department will be spared any further loss of life,” said JP Smith.

Tributes from chief fire officer Ian Schnetler, the head of the training academy at which Mbhokhwe last served, as well as tributes from Smith and his family were observed at a ceremony at the Civic Centre at the weekend.

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