25 May 2020
Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde – 400% increase in tests since 25 April
25 May 2020
Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde – 400% increase in tests since 25 April, but national backlog is growing
As of 1pm on 25 May, the Western Cape has 7439 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 14 978 confirmed cases and 7221 recoveries.
|Total confirmed COVID-19 cases||14978|
|Total active cases (currently infected patients)||7439|
|Total number of tests||124079|
|Hospitalisations||554 of which 139 are in ICU or high care|
Sub Districts Cape Town Metro:
|Garden Route||Mossel Bay||31||20|
|Cape Winelands||Breede Valley||124||39|
|West Coast||Saldanha Bay Municipality||40||5|
|Central Karoo||Beaufort West||2||0|
Unallocated: 638 (69 recovered)
Additional data can be found on the dashboard at www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus.
The Western Cape has recorded an additional 18 COVID-19 deaths-bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in the province to 318. We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased at this time.
A total of 124 079 tests have been completed in the Western Cape- representing a 400% increase in the number of tests conducted in the province since 25 April. This increase in testing in the Western Cape and in other provinces has resulted in a considerable backlog in the processing of these tests and in the release of their results by the National Health Laboratory Services.
The NHLS is a national entity, and the Western Cape has previously written to both President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize regarding the backlogs which are creating considerable delays in people receiving their test results back. During his recent visit to the Western Cape, Minister Mkhize indicated that the delays were due to shortages of reagents and test kits which are being experienced world-wide.
The backlog in the Western Cape has now grown to approximately 18 000 tests.
In the absence of a rapid-test solution, the decision is to prioritise healthcare workers, those in hospital and those at high risk including the elderly and those with underlying conditions in order to ensure the most efficient way of managing the curve of the disease in this phase of community transmission.
We once again call on both the President and Minister Mkhize to move as quickly as possible to ensure that the NHLS is provided with the resources it so urgently requires and that testing across the country can continue unhindered.
Alert level 3:
Today marks one week until the entire country will move to Alert Level 3. This will be done in conjunction with our targeted hotspot plan.
We welcome this move which will allow many more people to be able to put food on the table. We are facing a very serious humanitarian crisis, which must be averted if we are to save lives in the future too.
But we must be absolutely clear- this does not mean life must go back to normal. It will not be business as usual in the Western Cape. We will all need to work much harder to protect ourselves and to protect our loved ones.
For those businesses that will be re-opening, it is up to you to ensure the safety of your staff and of your customers. Use the next week to prepare your plans and ensure that everything is in place so that there is social distancing in place at all times, hygiene measures and cleaning routines are in place and risks are removed. Businesses can find a list of workplace protocols and sector specific steps here (LINK)
There is also greater responsibility on every single person returning to work next week. Make sure that you are washing your hands regularly, that you are wearing your mask and that there is always distance between you and other people. You must stay home if you feel ill so that you don't make others around you ill. Please also remember that if you have any difficulty breathing, you must seek urgent healthcare.
The Western Cape Government is working around the clock to make sure that all our healthcare responses are in place, and that our hotspot plan is being efficiently and effectively executed. But we cannot fight this Covid-19 pandemic alone. We need everyone to help us by taking responsibility for themselves, and for their loved ones, so that we can protect the vulnerable from infection.
We have not yet reached the peak yet, and the situation is going to get worse before it gets better. So please keep safe, keep your loved ones safe, and save lives.
Donations for healthcare workers:
Today, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo and I received a donation of over 2700 pairs of shoes and warm tops from Adidas, which will be distributed to healthcare workers in Cape Town, Gauteng and Kwa Zulu Natal.
Healthcare workers are at the frontline of our response to COVID-19 and comfortable shoes are important as they spend long hours on their feet. With winter weather starting to descend on the Western Cape, warm tops for our health-workers working early morning or late-night shifts, will be most welcome. We extend our gratitude to Adidas for their generous donation.
I would also like to thank all of those individuals, businesses and organisations who have stepped up to help us in the response to this pandemic. Whether it is through donations for our healthcare workers, providing meals for the hungry or volunteering time to make a difference at a time when many are experiencing difficulty, your assistance and your kindness are deeply valued.
Last published 25 May 2020