As of 17h00 on 21 April, the Western Cape has recorded 1068 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection.
Sub Districts Cape Town Metro:
Sub Districts Non-Metro:
*Going forward, the data will be reported as at 17h00 on the previous day, rather than at midnight in order to allow more time to prepare the daily reports.
The Western Cape also recorded five new deaths yesterday. These include three men, aged 43, 49 and 79 and two women, aged 54 and 95 respectively. We send our condolences to all of their loved ones at this time.
The Western Cape has now officially recorded over 1000 COVID-19 infections since the first case was detected on 11 March. As the Western Cape Government and the Department of Health work around the clock to ensure that we are prepared for the peak of infection, every single resident has a role to play in stopping the spread. Hand washing, hygiene measures, keeping a physical distance of 1.5 metres and wearing a clean, cloth mask out in public are simple things we can all do that will ultimately pay huge dividends and help us to save lives.
The province has now also recorded its 20 000th test for COVID-19. Screening and testing are among the tools we can use to fight this pandemic, showing us where we need to concentrate our efforts. We thank all of those who have gone to get screened or tested, as well as the thousands of doctors, nurses and community health care workers who are part of our community screening and testing efforts.
We are however deeply concerned that the screening and testing teams continue to come under attack in communities. These teams are vital in our response to COVID-19 and any attack on them hinders our ability to respond effectively to this pandemic.
The Western Cape Government’s scenario planning shows that at its peak, the province expects approximately 80 000 people to be infected and symptomatic. About 90% of these will recover at home but we still anticipate a shortfall of 1000 beds in acute and 750 beds in critical care. We are planning field hospitals to account for the need for acute beds, but even in the best-case scenario and with private beds, we will have a shortfall in critical care beds, which is driven by a shortage in critical care nurses.
This is why it is so important that every person continues to play their part in flattening the curve, so that our healthcare system can manage with the increase in Covid-19 patients. Every single person has a role to play.
Comment from Health Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo:
In flattening the curve, we need your cooperation, government cannot do this alone. I cannot emphasize this enough, stay at home and leave your house only when necessary. When you enter a clinic, hospital, shop, office, petrol station, bus, or taxi or any other place there there are people, rub our hands with an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer and make sure that you keep distance between yourself and anyone else.
It's the little things we do that will ensure we succeed in flattening this curve.
Response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcements:
Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R500 billion package of COVID-19 relief, including R20 billion towards the healthcare response and humanitarian relief including increases in the values of social grants, tax relief and support for businesses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already resulted in huge economic pressure being placed on people across the country. As a result, we have seen a drastic increase in the number of families in the province who are unable to afford basic necessities like food and electricity.
The R200 billion loan scheme with the major banks will also allow companies in distress to continue to pay salaries and cover operational costs, thereby further helping to protect jobs.
We welcome these efforts to support our economy and vulnerable communities; but we also now need much more detail on how this will be executed going forward.
Today, the Western Cape cabinet also received a briefing from the Solidarity Fund, regarding their humanitarian and medical response across the country. The Solidarity Fund has been working with our disaster management teams in line with our efforts to map all the relief currently being offered in the province. We need a coordinated humanitarian relief approach so that no vulnerable person is left behind. We welcome their efforts to roll out relief quickly to those who need it most and we look forward to working together with them going forward.
Over the past few days, we have seen an increased number of incidents of looting and public violence. We are facing a major humanitarian crisis across South Africa, as the impact of the lock-down hits vulnerable people. This worries me tremendously, and we have taken a number of steps to help as much as possible. Thousands of NGOs and community based organisations are doing the same.
However, I must be crystal clear: breaking the law will not be tolerated.
Looting is criminal, and the stealing of food parcels, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We are already under extreme pressure to provide food and assistance to people, and criminal acts place even further pressure on us. Beyond this however, these thefts are hurting the poor and the hungry, who rely on those food parcels for their survival.
Parliamentary processes and oversight:
This week, the Western Cape Provincial Parliament will hold two virtual sittings- a meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee this afternoon where I, together with Minister Nomafrench Mbombo will be presenting the Western Cape Government’s response to COVID-19, as well as questions to the Premier on Thursday afternoon.
I welcome the efforts by the WCPP to provide transparent oversight and for upholding our democratic principals at this timeLast published 22 April 2020