The total number of people screened in the province to 41 099. The number of recoveries for the province is at 205. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
The total number of people screened in the province to 41 099. The number of recoveries for the province is at 205. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Covid-19 deaths in Western Cape rise to 13, confirmed cases at 743

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Apr 17, 2020

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Cape Town - On Thursday night, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize officially announced a further six deaths in the Western Cape over the past few days, bringing the total deaths in the province to 13. 

Premier Alan Winde revealed the six people who died are all women, aged 43, 51, 56, 59, 68 and 86. 

"We send our condolences to all of their loved ones at this difficult time.

"While many who contract Covid-19 will recover, each new death we record is a somber reminder of the seriousness of the situation we are dealing with. We must all be doing everything we can to stop the spread, to protect ourselves and the most vulnerable, and to save lives," he said.

The number of recoveries for the province is at 205, while the number of active cases of infected patients is at 525. There are 33 people in hospital with 16 people in ICU.

Community screening update:

Winde also said the province recorded its most successful single day of screening to date, with 12 381 people screened in communities across the province. This brings the total number of people screened in the province to 41 099, with 2 782 people tested since community screenings started at the beginning of the month.

"Our thanks go out to those healthcare workers on the ground doing the screening and testing as well as all of those who have taken part. We continue to call on communities to welcome and to protect our community healthcare workers who are performing this service with the best interests of our residents at heart," Winde said.

Changes to regulations:

"We note the announcements made by the national government yesterday regarding changes to the regulations. We welcome those regarding the operation of hardware stores, IT, electrical and plumbing repair services and the sale of essential baby goods," he added. 

"Some of these, such as the sale of hardware and baby goods, were among the proposed amendments the province submitted to COGTA earlier this month.

"Going forward, we would also like to see regulations on the sale of stationery and electronics such as phones and laptops, that are necessary for school learners, students and businesses operating from home. I will continue to advocate on national platforms for the opening to market of these goods as soon as possible," he said.

Winde said that they have also noted the about-turn in regulations around the transport of wine for export, which is now blocked again. 

"Wine exports are important in the province, supporting a large number of jobs and contributing significantly to the economy. The about-turn from last week, when exports were unblocked, has caused significant confusion and we will be writing to the national government for urgent clarity in this regard," he said.

Cape Argus

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