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Coronavirus – South Africa: Premier Alan Winde on Coronavirus COVID-19 update for 17 August

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As of 1pm on 17 August, the Western Cape has 6336 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 100 778 confirmed cases and 90 869 recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases

101 037

Total recoveries

91 041

Total deaths

3573

Total active cases (currently infected patients)

6336

Tests conducted

454104

Hospitalisations

1115 with 242 in ICU or high care

Cape Metro Sub-districts:

 Sub-district

Cases

 Recoveries

Western

8507

 7824

Southern

8840

 7952

Northern

5935

 5495

Tygerberg

12360

 11415

Eastern

9213

 8456

Klipfontein

8640

 7836

Mitchells Plain

7952

 7272

Khayelitsha

7922

 7388

Total

69369

63638

Sub-districts:

 District

 Sub-district

Cases

Recoveries

Garden Route

Bitou

515

431

Garden Route

Knysna

1243

1040

Garden Route

George

3066

2624

Garden Route

Hessequa

237

185

Garden Route

Kannaland

87

57

Garden Route

Mossel Bay

1814

1466

Garden Route

Oudsthoorn

834

539

Cape Winelands

Stellenbosch

1913

1754

Cape Winelands

Drakenstein

4032

3719

Cape Winelands

Breede Valley

3050

2745

Cape Winelands

Langeberg

1054

961

Cape Winelands

Witzenberg

1417

1249

Overberg

Overstrand

1422

1349

Overberg

Cape Agulhas

239

204

Overberg

Swellendam

254

235

Overberg

Theewaterskloof

1066

974

West Coast

Bergrivier

379

339

West Coast

Cederberg

140

120

West Coast 

Matzikama

270

218

West Coast

Saldanha Bay Municipality

1223

1122

West Coast

Swartland

1347

1166

Central Karoo

Beaufort West

379

287

Central Karoo

Laingsburg

96

34

Central Karoo

Prince Albert

11

5

Unallocated: 5321 (4408 recovered)

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.

More data is available here: https://bit.ly/2BsfdXt

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 13 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 3573. We send our condolences to their family and friends at this time.

Alert level 2:

The new, alert level 2 restrictions will come into effect at midnight. These relaxed restrictions are the first step in restarting our economy, saving jobs and addressing the deepening humanitarian, and food security issues in the province that have emerged since the lockdown began.

As we all work to rebuild the economy, I encourage everyone to support local and small businesses in our communities wherever possible. Small businesses are important contributors to job creation, and supporting them during this difficult time will go a long way towards ensuring that they are able to recover and grow.

I also encourage those who can afford to do so, to support local restaurants and tourism establishments who employ large numbers of people.

Along with the re-opening of most sectors of the economy, we will also see the lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes. The Western Cape wine and hospitality industries are significant contributors to job creation in the Western Cape, especially in our rural areas. Domestic wine sales represent more than half of the province's sales and the resumption of sales is an important first step in saving jobs and developing the industry.

At the same time, I must appeal to residents of the Western Cape to drink alcohol responsibly and to comply with the regulations around sales that are in place. In the past, we have also seen residents queuing to purchase alcohol after the lifting of prohibitions, and it is imperative that if you are buying alcohol, or visiting a bar or tavern that you ensure that you are wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and keeping up good hygiene practices like hand-washing.

We also appeal to retailers and businesses which will be allowed to operate under level 2, to ensure that they have all their safety protocols in place to protect staff and customers.

Scaling up healthcare services:

The Western Cape saw a significant reduction in people accessing certain healthcare services during as a result of COVID-19. Having overcome the peak in most parts of our province, the Department of Health is now focusing on scaling up other healthcare services. These services will be phased in, and the Department will use a risk and impact-based approach to determine exactly how this will be done.

When comparing April 2020 to April 2019 we see:

  • 68% less people visiting primary health care facilities in the Metro and 37% in rural 
  • A 51% reduction in elective surgical procedures in the Metro and 42% in rural 
  • A 48% reduction in emergency visits in the Metro and 40% in rural 
  • 46% less outpatient visits in the Metro and 52% less in rural 

We have also seen a reduction in essential and basic primary healthcare services including a 22% reduction in immunisations, and a 36% reduction in screening for TB. We have also seen reductions in the uptake of services such as chronic disease management for conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as for the management of TB and HIV, and child and women's health. These services will be scaled up in our healthcare facilities, but we will also be making use of our community healthcare workers, to visit patients in their homes and communities and who will be able to screen for COVID-19 at the same time.

A systematic scale up of elective surgeries is also being planned.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put significant pressure on our healthcare systems, but it has also seen us devise new ways of providing healthcare services in innovative, and patient- centric ways. It is important that while we continue to minimise the spread of COVID-19 and take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our loved ones, that we continue to provide other necessary healthcare services and protect the general health of our residents.

If you are concerned about your health, or the health of your children, have a chronic condition or have defaulted on management of HIV or TB, we encourage you to contact your medical provider, or your regular healthcare facility for advice on how best to access your regular treatment or care.

Issued by: Western Cape Office of the Premier

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.


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