WC finalising 'whole-government' approach to lowering hot spot infection rate
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize was in the Western Cape on Saturday, where he gave a live update on South Africa's Covid-19 figures.
He said the province still has the highest infection rate at 4,809 cases, followed by Gauteng with 1, 910. (National numbers: 9,420 cases, 186 deaths)
The Western Cape also has the highest number of deaths at 88.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the minister was happy about Covid-19 medical preparations, and his concern was about the infection hot spots in the province.
I think it's evident that we seem to be a little bit ahead now of where the rest of the country are as you see our numbers versus the rest of the country, but also still our percentage of testing was still higher than anywhere else... the more you test the more you are going to find... We've also targeted testing.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
We've got our hot spot strategy, so we'll be measuring that now over the next two weeks or so. We've got those hot spots in Khayelitsha, in the Tygerberg region, in Du Noon, in Witzenberg [Cape Winelands] - Ceres specifically. We're moving in, making sure that citizens are actually following the rules because, of course, the big question is always: Did the minister come to say that the Western Cape has got to go to lockdown Level 5? That's definitely not the case.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
The premier reiterated that the province has to strike that balance between getting people back to work and keeping infections in check.
We've got a virus crisis on the one side, but the longer we are locked down the longer we end up having not only an economic crisis but a humanitarian crisis as well.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
We need citizens to make sure that we are not congregating, that we're adhering to the basic rules - your hygiene practices, keep your social distance and wear your mask, and we will do the rest.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
Winde notes that Minister Mkhize has been misquoted as saying everyone who tests positive is going to be placed in a hospital.
Unfortunately that is not possible. We don't have sufficient beds for that... I think that's a bit of confusion between hospital and the quarantine and isolation. In Gauteng at Nasrec they've got quarantine and isolation included with hospitalisation, where we've got, say for our CTICC hospital that we're building, or our existing hospitals, we have separate quarantine and isolation, but the same practises.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
When you get tested [positive] you need to make sure that you are isolating yourself because you are, for those 14 days, infectious.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
We need to keep the growth from exploding. As we've said before, it doubles every eight days - that's the norm across the world.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
Winde agrees with the health minister's statement that metros at the centre of the coronavirus spread could be taken back to Level 5 lockdown while less affected areas see relaxed restrictions.
We've got a number of municipalities in the rural areas where in fact we should be opening up much more so that we get economic activity happening there, bearing in mind that they need to be opening up with that 'new normal' set of practises.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
Every single municipality outside the City of Cape Town are all less than, I would say, 50 cases and probably most of them are less than 20 cases. Surely they should be opened up and enabled to have much more economic activity.Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
Winde explains how the approach to dealing with the hot spots has evolved to a "whole of government" approach.
In Witzenberg in the Cape Winelands, for instance, they would be talking to the agricultural sector to say the payment of wages shouldn't be limited to a Friday but rather split up for different days of the week.
For example, what is our economic department not doing in that hot spot at the moment... that would be zooming in with those businesses to take that protocol level and the management of your business space to a much higher medical protocol level... The traffic law enforcement guys, the transport guys, taxis who we license as well as our traffic officers - how do we actually go in and police the traffic officers' space, the humanitarian feeding - how do we make sure that people don't end up congregating maybe around soup kitchens...Alan Winde, Premier - Western Cape Government
President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to visit the Western Cape next week.
Listen to the conversation with Premier Winde below:
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : WC finalising 'whole-government' approach to lowering hot spot infection rate
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