Two more locals have died from Covid-19 in the Western Cape. One is a 51-year-old woman, and the other a 30-year-old man who both had underlying conditions. 

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde confirmed the deaths.
“We send our condolences to their loved ones during this difficult
time,” Winde said.

In the last 24 hours, a further 1550 tests have been conducted in the
Western Cape.


“This testing is based on our active case finding approach, where we
purposely follow the “bush fires” – the pockets of infections within
communities, to ensure that every person who has been infected by
Covid-19 is identified as quickly as possible. The screening identifies
those who are symptomatic, and these residents are referred for
testing,” the Premier added. “Identifying every person infected by
Covid-19, allows us to isolate patients, trace their contacts, and
provide healthcare services where needed. International experience has
shown us that this approach, combined with good hygiene measures and
lockdown regulations are key in stopping the spread.”  

The Western Cape government is ramping up its “rigorous screening and
testing, in line with this approach and in accordance with international
best practice”.


It is important to remember that the lockdown has not stopped Covid-19,
and the peak is still to come with many people being infected by the
virus.
“The situation is going to get more difficult, and it is up to
all of us to ensure we flatten the curve and prevent our health system
from being overwhelmed. This will help save many lives,” Winde said.

Earlier today, national government made further announcements regarding
level four restrictions which will come into effect on Friday, May
1.”Under these restrictions, certain sectors of our economy will be
opened up. A night-time curfew has also been introduced between 8pm and
5am and cloth masks have been made mandatory for anyone leaving their
homes. Residents are urged to abide by these new regulations which will
allow us to limit the spread of the virus, while still allowing some
activity to take place,” Winde said.

“We welcome the announcement that cloth masks will be made mandatory for
those who go out in public. I had made this request to the President
during the last PCC meeting, and I am glad that this recommendation has
been taken up. Wearing a cloth mask properly, and always following the
golden rules of good hygiene when doing so, can help limit the spread of
the virus.”

Provincial government is also pleased that limited production and the
sale of stationery, educational books and personal IT equipment such as
computers and cell phones is now allowed, as these will allow for
education, learning and home businesses to continue.

“I am equally happy that children’s and winter clothing will be allowed
for sale under level 4, but re-iterate the call that people should visit
shops as infrequently as possible in order to reduce the risk of
infection,” he added. “Agriculture is a major contributor to the
provincial economy so we welcome the further opening up of agricultural
exports, as well as essential fishing operations and flower growers.”

These new regulations place a lot of responsibility on employers and
individuals. Businesses who intend to open from May 1 must ensure that
when they do begin operating, they have all of the correct protocols in
place- including heightened hygiene measures, and social distancing
protocols to allow their staff to work safely.

“As individuals, we all need to abide by these new regulations and adapt
to this “new normal”. I know it is very difficult, and we all
desperately want to see our friends and loved ones again. We have done
so much already, and we must continue with our hard work going forward.
I know, if we strengthen our resolve now to defeat this virus, we can
stop the spread. We can do this,” Winde concluded. “And, we must not
forget what we have learnt already: Hand washing regularly with soap,
coughing and sneezing into a tissue or into the crook of the arm,
keeping physical distance and wearing a cloth mask can all help to slow
the rate of infection and to stop the spread.”

Picture: Twitter

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.