Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde- testing is safe and important in the COVID-19 response

Case update:

As at 00h01 on 08 April 2020, the Western Cape had recorded 510 positively confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Sub District Breakdown (Cape Town metro):

Cases
Western 161
Southern 129
Northern 26
Tygerberg 36
Eastern 20
Klipfontein 23
Mitchells Plain 7
Khayelitsha 5
Total 407

Sub Districts Non-Metro:

Non-metro:

District Sub-District Cases
Garden Route Bitou 5
Garden Route Knysna 13
Garden Route George 14
Garden Route Hessequa 5
Garden Route Mossel Bay 16
Garden Route Oudtshoorn 2
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 16
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 6
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 6
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1
Overberg Overstrand 9
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 3
West Coast Swartland 2

Unallocated: 4

As at 12h00 on 08 April 2020, we have 31 people admitted to hospital for Covid-19, with nine people receiving care in ICU.

Today, the Western Cape surpassed the 500 case mark, and with every additional case we register, we increase the risk of a vulnerable person being infected. It is important that we all continue to take the necessary steps to ensure we protect ourselves and others. This includes regular handwashing, not touching your face, and abiding by the rules of the lockdown by staying home.

Together with social distancing when we do go out in line with the lockdown regulations, these are the gold standard for infection prevention and we must continue to use these as our strongest line of defence.

Community testing update:

By yesterday, a total of 3930 people had been screened since the Western Cape rolled out community screening at the weekend. Of these, 258 people were referred for testing based on their responses to the screening questionnaire.

We saw excellent uptake in Happy Valley with 1055 people screened, Mbekweni, with 509 screened and Ilitha Park, with 437 screened. In the Bo-Kaap, 408 people had been screened by yesterday afternoon.

Today, I had the opportunity to demonstrate the screening and testing process, with Dr Justin Standaar from the GreenPoint Community Clinic.

After answering the questions that form part of the screening, Dr Standaar performed two swabs- one from the top of my nasal passage, and another from my throat. There has been a lot of fake news around the safety of the test and what it entails. Having now undergone it myself, I can say the test was slightly uncomfortable, being something I had never experienced before, but it was both painless and is 100% safe.

I urge all those in areas where community testing is being offered, to take up the opportunity. Community testing helps us to determine the presence of the virus in specific areas, and is an important tool in helping to stop the spread.

Minister Nomafrench Mbombo said: “Fake news and misinformation around health news constitutes a potential threat to the public health and it robs people of vital information that can help them to get the best out of the health system. This is not the time for bad jokes nor a time to instill fear. I welcome the enthusiasm to screen and test despite recent fake news events. This has led us to expanding more sites to ensure that many people get to be screened and tested.”

School feeding update:

We are pleased to see that the emergency school feeding programme got underway in the province, to ensure that learners are able to access nutritious meals during this period.

We thank all of the schools, teachers and volunteers who have come on board to help us feed our children. I am also pleased to see that detailed protocols are in place to ensure that children are kept safe. These include children bringing their own food containers from home which are not touched by the staff, sufficient adult supervision, social distancing in the queues and ensuring that no more than 50 children come at a time. Children also do not eat at the school, but take their meal home.

We also thank SAPS for their support, as they have agreed to patrol areas around schools where meals are being served.

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