Covid-19

CORONAVIRUS

Don’t drop your guard, says Western Cape government, as Covid-19 cases drop

A general view of a rainbow in Brackenfell on July 12, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo: Gallo Images/Jacques Stander)

While the economy opens up and people start to move around more, Western Cape government officials have stressed the importance of adhering to regulations and maintaining basic principles of hand hygiene.

The Western Cape’s active Covid-19 cases are dropping, the province’s health department said on Thursday 3 September, and while people are starting to move around more freely, residents must still be vigilant about hand-washing, mask-wearing and physical distancing. 

During the weekly health update by the Western Cape government, Dr Keith Cloete, the Head of Department (HoD), said pressures on hospitals had started to decrease, both in the Cape metro and some rural areas. 

“Thusong and CTICC Hospital of Hope have been closed, Brackengate currently has 36 patients and Sonstraal has three patients,” said the HoD. “Nurses and doctors from the metropole are now assisting their colleagues in the rural districts with their Covid response.” 

As of Thursday, the province had 126 Covid-19 confirmed patients in hospital, while a further 18 were in intensive care, with 12 on high-flow nasal oxygen. The province’s Covid-19 mortality, hospitalisations and cases are stabilising, said Cloete. The province has seen a steady decline in active Covid-19 cases and at 5pm on Thursday had 3,272 active cases from 105,552 confirmed cases, with 3,941 deaths and 98,339 recoveries. 

But while the numbers are dropping and the economy is reopening, Cloete said mask-wearing, hand-washing and physical distancing needed to continue, suggesting that it should be in place even after Covid-19 subsides. 

When asked by journalists if there was a rush to reopen, Cloete said it was about a balancing act, “encouraging opening the economy and increasing movements”, while at the same time being vigilant in hand-washing hygiene. 

Over the next 18-24 months, Cloete said, “it is essential to ensure a strong focus on surveillance and containment”. 

Premier Alan Winde echoed Cloete’s sentiments. “Remember your own responsibility,” said the premier, as he encouraged those who were going out for First Thursdays in the evening to continue to be “vigilant around mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing”. DM 

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"