The Western Cape has recorded an additional 34 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 1653.

“We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time,” said Premier Alan Winde.

As of 1pm on June 26, the province has 14 628 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 57 260 confirmed cases and 40 979  recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 57 260
Total recoveries 40 979
Total deaths 1 653
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 14 628
Tests conducted 287 735
Hospitalisations 1 629 with 297 in ICU or high care

“As the province moves closer to the peak and the Department of Health is recording over 1000 new cases daily, it is not possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new 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,” said Winde.

More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard. 

Innovation in healthcare:

According to Winde, the Western Cape is the only province that has the same unique patient identifier across all of its health department services. This makes it easy to access patient information. “This level of technical innovation is also evident in the work the department is doing in the management of COVID-19,” said Winde.

Some of the innovative and technological advances currently in operation include:

– The CTICC Hospital of Hope is entirely paperless- meaning that there are no patient files, or pieces of paper which could be moved around and potentially spread the virus.

– Patients in the Western Cape are managed through the Bed Bureau system which creates statistics of bed occupation across the province’s clinical platform.

– The Western Cape Government Health in conjunction with Aviro Health has developed an automated Chatbot application system via the WhatsApp platform, which confirms delivery of chronic medication to clients’ homes. It also allows high-risk chronic patients to confirm an existing appointment before accessing services at their attending healthcare facility, which means they do not have to wait in long queues when going to a facility.

– Two robots, Quintin and Salma, are part of a digitisation project at Tygerberg hospital, which uses cameras and tablets to monitor patients and capture their records, also helping to reduce infection in ICU wards.

Winde said that in addition to the technical innovations the province has introduced, they have also implemented new systems and services which aim to make life simpler for residents and healthcare workers.

“The Red Dot Taxi service helps to keep our healthcare workers safe in specially equipped and regularly sanitized taxis. The Red Dot service also transports residents who need to go to our isolation and quarantine facilities,” Winde explained, adding, “Our chronic healthcare medicine delivery service now also delivers medicine to stable chronic patients, reducing crowding in our healthcare facilities and at the same time protecting residents who fall into our risk categories.”

“COVID-19 has forced us all to think differently about how we do things, and has introduced a ‘new normal’ for people around the world. These new systems could help us to provide better services to our residents, even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.”

“We should all be embracing the new normal and determining how we can do things differently ourselves to help stop the spread, in addition to the golden rules of hygiene, sanitation, mas wearing and social distancing,” he said.

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