The number of positive Covid-19 cases has risen to a total of 370 in the Western Cape as at 00h01 on 1 April 2020. This was revealed by Premier Alan Winde in his daily update on Wednesday afternoon. We currently have 16 patients in hospital, with four receiving treatment in ICU,” the premier said. Our contact tracing teams continue to work to quickly identify and isolate close contacts in all instances of a positive case being identified. We currently have 20 people whom we have placed into isolation facilities, where they are receiving appropriate care.
“We acknowledge that for some, self-isolation will not always be possible and we are working to identify additional facilities to be used as quarantine and isolation sites across the province,” Winde said.
“Our aim is to provide appropriate medical care to those who are diagnosed with Covid-19, no matter where in the province they are. The premier’s update also addressed the difference between provincial statistics of positive cases, and that of the Department of Health. Lab results are accessed directly from laboratories in the province, and there can be a lag between these results and those formally registered on the system with the National Department of Health. This can create discrepancies between the national and provincial data but does not impact the accuracy of any of the numbers released,” the statement said.
Over the past week, the province has continued to see a number of attacks on our Emergency Medical Services officials and vehicles, which has been condemned by Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.
“It is important for our people to realize that safety of communities is inextricably linked to the safety of health workers. It is sad that often these attacks take place in extremely vulnerable communities where emergency services are most needed. Currently we are facing challenging service pressures with the Covid-19 pandemic in our country.
“This is a period where Emergency Medical Services will be in demand at a community-level, even more than usual, in the public health system I urge all residents to protect EMS personnel while they are rendering this crucial service and should they witness any attacks, to report these to police immediately,” Mbombo said.
Today, the leadership of the SAPS in the Western Cape briefed the cabinet on their operations during this lockdown period. Cabinet requested clarity on SAPS’s interpretation of some of the regulations, and raised issues of police brutality.
“Police brutality of any form should not be tolerated and we call on all members of the community who have experienced violence at the hands of SAPS officers to report these to IPID,” Winde said. SAPS also briefed the cabinet on the repatriation of foreign nationals, in line with the announcements made by Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula. These repatriations will be done in controlled exercises for foreign nationals whose home countries will be sending chartered flights.
The Western Cape Government, through its Joint Operations Centre, is working to make these processes as smooth and safe as possible. Due to the nationwide lockdown, in-person First Thursday has been put on hold but on Thursday, Premier Winde will be participating in a special First Thursday Lockdown edition radio show from 6 pm – 6:30pm. Residents will be able to call in for a live Q&A with Premier Winde on coronavirus, and measures to stop the spread.
It will be aired on Bush Radio and simulcast on Radio Atlantis, Eden fm, Gamka Magic828, Namakwaland, Tygerberg, Valley fm and Voice of the Cape. A recording of the show will also be aired on Friday on Zibonele and Radio 786.
In other news – Police raid Chinese-owned business in Durban CBD over coronavirus fears
Police raided a multi-story building belonging to the Xinhua Distribution Centre on Pixley KaSeme Street on Wednesday over concerns that it was housing people that had symptoms of the coronavirus.
The Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs in a statement said they received a serious complaint about people who alleged to have symptoms of the coronavirus were living inside the building. There are other serious allegations made by a complainant. I mean a serious complaint,” Economic Development MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube said. The building was locked down by law enforcement agencies early on Wednesday morning. A pre-raid briefing was conducted involving all law enforcement agencies and health professionals from Department of Health. Read more