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Min. Winde on COVID-19 In Western Cape

Update by Minister Alan Winde, Premier of The Western Cape:
As of 00h01 on March 29, the Western Cape had recorded 310 COVID-19 infections.
Here is the district breakdown:

District breakdown

City of Cape Town – 256
Cape Winelands – 17
Garden Route – 21
Overberg – 7

Subdistrict breakdown:

Cape Town Metro Sub-Districts:
Western-106
Southern-98
Northern-16
Tygerberg-15
Eastern-10
Klipfontein-5
Mitchells Plain-5
Khayelitsha- 1

Other sub-districts:
Bitou – 9
Stellenbosch – 8
Drakenstein – 6
George – 6
Overstrand – 5
Breede Valley – 3
Hessequa – 3
Mossel Bay – 3
Swellendam – 1
Theewaterskloof – 1

Unknown*: 9
*District information is still pending or not yet verified

We have seen another increase in the number of residents admitted to hospital as a result of the virus, with 14 currently hospitalised, three of these in intensive care.

Today we have started providing sub-district information across the Western Cape, including in the City of Cape Town. The stats show us that this virus is spreading, reaching communities across our province.

Each and every one these cases, from Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain to Mossel Bay – is of very serious concern for my government.

Our response teams are treating the development of cases in our informal areas with the urgency and seriousness it deserves, following up with every contact and ensuring isolation.

We appeal to the public to not stigmatise this virus – no one is immune, and we ask for understanding and assistance to those in need of help. Mostly, if we are break its spread, we need to be open about it.

These stats again demonstrate why abiding by this lock-down is so essential. If we are to stop the spread, we must stay home, in our homes, and limit contact with other people.”

Coronavirus is very much here, and although we cannot stop its spread entirely, we have a window of opportunity to slow it down and we must embrace it.

It is imperative that people everywhere – across the length and breadth of our province - obey the rules of the lockdown to prevent further spread in our communities.

This virus will impact us all, but it will impact our most vulnerable - the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions - the hardest. We must all play a role in halting its spread by staying in our homes.

You are only allowed to leave your home to buy food, go to the pharmacy, get medical attention or collect a social grant, unless you are working in an essential service.

If you do leave your home, you must ensure that you keep distance between yourself and others- while you are walking, shopping, taking transport, and standing in queues. Combined with regular hand washing, not touching your face, and sneezing or coughing into your arm or a tissue, this is the best line of defense we have against contracting the virus. Remember, there is no cure.

Western Cape Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo said: "Wearing a mask or gloves when going to the supermarket or pharmacy to buy essentials, is ineffective, unnecessary, and will not protect you from the Coronavirus. In fact, it spreads the virus faster because it makes you a carrier from one person to another, it also gives false security that you don’t need to wash or sanitize your hands."

She added: "Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a scarce commodity and should be used appropriately and by the appropriate people. If you are not ill and not in close contact with someone who has Coronavirus, you do not need to wear a mask or gloves. These are only important if you are in direct contact with- or caring for a person who is confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19, at home or in a health facility. This is part of infection control."

Lockdown:

We call on all residents to abide by the regulations put in place for the lockdown. These rules are in place to ensure your safety and to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We remind residents that police and law enforcement will continue to make arrests and issue fines for people acting in contravention of these rules.

To report instances of the rule breaking, residents must call 10111 or their local police or law enforcement.

Fake news:

We note also the reported arrest of a Cape Town man for spreading fake news about the Coronavirus. Fake news is deeply dangerous in a time like this, as it creates fear, panic and uncertainty. Spreading of fake news is now an offence and we call on people to only share content from trusted sources.

A number of concerned residents have reached out to us to ask if they are required to fill out a form to leave the house to buy essential goods. This form is fake – members of the public do not need to fill out a form to go to the shops or get medicine.

For COVID-19 related medical concerns, and if you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home and call the national hotline on 0800 029 999 or the Western Cape hotline on 021 928 4102 for further advice. You can also use the Western Cape Government’s coronavirus self-screening tool: HERE


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