The Western Cape has on March 24 reached a total of 125 confirmed Covid-19 infections. Ahead of the lockdown measures put in place by the national government, we call on residents in the Western Cape to heed our call to stay at home, and if they must go out, to keep 1.5 meter distance between themselves and others at all times.
The breakdown of infections
Cape Metro: 103
Cape Winelands: 8
Garden Route: 8
The majority of our infections remain cases that have been imported from other countries, but there are cases where the patient has no travel history. That is why it is imperative that we stay home, to prevent the virus from spreading, and to stop our most vulnerable citizens from becoming infected.
The Western Cape Government is working hard to ensure that answers to the many questions that have been raised since President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement last night, are answered.
Since the announcement, we have had many questions from concerned citizens regarding the proposed lockdown and what it means for them, their families and their lives.
We are working to answer these questions, which we will be frequently updating on our website: www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus
We eagerly await the new regulations that will assist us in helping answer these questions. We will seek to answer as many questions as we can on our dedicated website, and will allow residents to submit questions to be answered.
The basics for the lockdown are that all residents will be required to stay in their homes from 11.59pm on Thursday night, unless they work for an essential service. National government has indicated that this list will be made available tomorrow. We are committed to working together to ensure that the lockdown is implemented safely in order to achieve the objective of reducing Covid-19 infections.
Our seven work-streams continue to channel all of their efforts into developing responses to the wide range of health, social and economic issues that could stem from this virus. Our teams are also working on the impacts of the lock-down for residents, and businesses alike.
While President Ramaphosa has made it clear that people will still be able to access pharmacies, the Western Cape Department of Health has implemented plans to make it easier for those on chronic medication to receive their medication, and to reduce queuing and crowding in facilities. Community health care workers will now help to deliver medicines. This has already started in some areas and will be further rolled out later this week. Additionally, stable, chronic patients will be issued with a two month supply of their medication in order to reduce the number of visits they have to make to facilities.
While we work to obtain answers, we appeal to people to only use and share information from reputable sources. Voice notes which cannot be traced back to their origin, as well as information that does not appear to have an official link or source should be treated with caution. Members of the public are reminded that under the Disaster Declaration regulations, spreading of fake news is an offence.
World TB Day
March 24 was World TB Day and as we battle the global coronavirus pandemic, it is up to us all to take measures to help protect those who may be harder impacted by this virus as a result of suppressed immunity.
We also thank those doctors and nurses who have given countless hours of their time to helping those with TB in our province.
Postponement of the Olympic Games
We note the decision to postpone the Olympic Games in Japan by one year. Our Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport will be engaging with Sascoc and the Western Cape Provincial Sport Confederation on their advisory on the announcements and how our local athletes will be impacted.