Goggles cleaned as Covid-19 Community screening and testing takes place at Delft South clinic.The Western Cape has screened 28 718 people and tested 2102 people, and in total, has conducted 12 785 tests for Covid-19. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)
Goggles cleaned as Covid-19 Community screening and testing takes place at Delft South clinic.The Western Cape has screened 28 718 people and tested 2102 people, and in total, has conducted 12 785 tests for Covid-19. Picture: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape has 702 Covid-19 cases and 205 recoveries

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Apr 16, 2020

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Cape Town - The Western Cape has conducted 12 785 Covid-19 tests, out of which 702 people have tested positive for having Covid-19, but the province has also recorded 205 people who have recovered.

This was announced by Provincial Health Department head Dr Keith Cloete during Premier Alan Winde's digital conference on the Western Cape's response to coronavirus.

Since community screening started on 4 April, the Western Cape has screened 28 718 people and tested 2102 people, and in total, the province has conducted 12 785 tests for Covid-19.

Cloete said: "In terms of hopitalisation, we have 35 people of which 16 are in ICU. That has been increasing. The numbers of deaths in the province is still remains at 7."

He also added that the community screenings have been very successful thus far.

Premier Winde added: "We have had an overwhelmingly positive response to community testing, which was drastically scaled up this week. Testing has been targeted at areas where community transmissions have occurred and in high density areas where the risk of further infection, or infection of vulnerable groups, is higher.

"The screening is designed to be agile and to react quickly to new pockets of infection," he said.

"This has been especially important as over the past week we have registered a number of cases linked to supermarkets. Supermarkets are one of the few spaces during a lockdown where members of the public interface, and it is therefore crucial that those who shop take excellent hygiene and social distancing precautions, including hand sanitizing, coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the crook of the elbow and ensuring that there is physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres. We also encourage the use of clean, cloth masks.

"We have worked with these supermarkets to screen, test and isolate cases and to ensure close contacts quarantine themselves," Winde said.

Stores have also been closed to allow for deep cleaning so as to ensure they are safe for customers.

"We have also as a result, pro-actively developed protocols to be used in the retail sector, and will be meeting with supermarket representatives soon in order to discuss these," he said.

The public is urged to only leave the home when absolutely necessary, and the premier said that where possible, shopping should only be done by one family member, and by the healthiest person in the home.

"Those who feel ill must stay at home. Anyone experiencing symptoms can call the national or provincial hotline numbers in order to be advised of the best course of action," he said.

During the digicon, Dr Cloete did say that they have had concerns surrounding the community testing. 

"We've had a few concerns, the most serious was one of the teams in one of the areas was mugged. That team has had to terminate their activities on Wednesday, and in that area we had to make sure that they operate under police escort."

Premier Alan Winde has also thanked those residents who have taken the lockdown seriously, who have abided by the rules and have helped us to stop the spread.

"We understand that this is hard- we have never faced a situation of this nature in this country before. But every single person who has complied has played a very important role in ensuring that we are able to reduce the number of infections, protect vulnerable groups and ultimately, to save lives.

"The next two weeks of lockdown are an opportunity for us to do even more to stop the spread. The more we do now, the more time we have to prepare ourselves and all of our systems, and the more lives we will be able to save."

Third Thursday reminder:

Due to the phenomenal public response to our First Thursday radio show, I will be hosting a Third Thursday show Question and Answer show between 6pm and 7pm on Thursday. This will be an hour long show which will be facilitated at Bush Radio and simulcast across several stations across the province.

Listeners will be able to call in on 021 448 6266, WhatsApp on 061 862 1065 or SMS keyword Covid-19 to 32158 followed by their question, name and area. Each SMS costs R1.00.

Cape Argus

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