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COVID-19 – Western Cape records 8 more deaths as SA marks 50 days of lockdown

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Alan Winde

The Western Cape has recorded an additional eight more coronavirus-related deaths as the country marks 50 days of lockdown.

The number of deaths in the province currently sits at 137.

Premier Alan Winde said the province had 7,586 confirmed cases and 2,857 recoveries.

About 345 people have been admitted in hospitals, with 123 of them in ICU or high care.

Winde said the province have screened more than 447,000 people and tested 11,600.

“Our total testing numbers have now also topped 80,000 in the province. We have built and opened testing and triage centres, and a total of 18 of these will be operational at hospitals across the province.

Volunteers

“Work to convert the Cape Town International Convention Centre into an 850-bed hospital continues apace. We have put out a call and received over 1,000 offers to volunteer from medical professionals in the province.

“We are finalising the leases on three more facilities to be used as temporary hospitals in the province,” said Winde.

The province has developed systems to track how much personal protective equipment is available in its health system and has more orders in the pipeline.

“We have identified and procured quarantine and isolation facilities in the province. We are working to identify more of these spaces so that we can ensure that those who are not able to self-isolate or quarantine at home can do so safely in these facilities.

“We have also devised our hot spot strategies for Witzenberg and City of Cape Town which provide a whole-of-government response to fighting infections in these areas.

Strategies

“These strategies will provide an evidence-led and data-driven response across government departments to ensure that we respond effectively, from every angle to reduce both the spread of the virus as well as its impact on communities,” Winde said.

He added in conjunction with a targeted hot spot strategy for specific geographical areas, the province could and should move to Level 3.

“It is imperative that we as a country and a province now start to adapt to the new normal and find the balance between protecting our people from Covid-19 while ensuring that they are able to work and put food on the table for themselves and their families.

“The hard lockdown was necessary but it has also resulted in severe economic hardship for many and an unprecedented humanitarian disaster.

“It is the poor and vulnerable in our society who will bear the brunt. We need to save lives now and in the future too. This is what we will tell President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize during the consultation process,” Winde said.

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Source: The Citizen