President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to visit Cape Town on Friday to assess the Western Cape’s provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Western Cape currently accounts for nearly two-thirds of infections nationally.
President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on his inspection of COVID-19 facilities in the province.
The Western Cape Government recently announced that it would only test people who are at highest risk and the most vulnerable of dying from COVID-19 infections in the Cape Town Metropole.
Premier Winde says this will allow them to get test results back faster and will also ensure speedy interventions. He says the backlog of tests from the province at the National Health Laboratory Service currently stands at 27 000.
Winde says people who will be tested include those admitted with hospital COVID19 symptoms, people who are over 55 and show symptoms and others who have symptoms with conditions like diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.
“So, if you are a young person, fit and healthy and you’ve got a tickly throat, don’t go rushing to the hospital for a test because let’s rather save that for someone who needs it in a hospital. Isolate yourself, wait for you 14 days. We all know what to do. We’ve been told that tests are one their way. Calls have been made, but in the meantime we’ve got to make decisions with what we’ve got right now. So, let’s make sure that we are making the decisions in the best interests of where the most risk is,” says Winde.
The Western Cape currently has over 25 000 confirmed COVID-19 cases with more than 600 deaths. The province’s COVID-19 quarantine facility at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC 1) is also expected to open on Thursday for staff who have completed orientation programmes. The site will add around 800 additional beds to the healthcare system.
Provincial Head of the Department of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, says they are expecting to admit their first patients at the facility on Monday.
“The CTICC 1 is opening. We have started employing our first staff members. They are on orientation in this week as we speak and as of next Monday, we are expecting our first cases to be admitted in CTICC 1.”
President Ramaphosa will commence his visit by receiving a presentation on the Western Cape’s COVID-19 response strategy. Following that, he will be taken on a walkabout before visiting the Provincial Red Dot Health Staff Transport Operations Centre.
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