The Western Cape has 10 965 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of  28 082 confirmed cases and 16 433 recoveries.

There have been 41 additional COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in the province to 684.

The number of tests conducted is 186 236  thus far. The number of people admitted to hospital is 1027, with 203  in ICU or high care.

The provincial breakdown is as follows:

Today, President Cyril Ramaphosa, national Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and other members of the national cabinet were in the Cape to open the 862 bed Hospital of Hope at the CTICC, which the Western Cape government has brought on stream to ensure medical care for residents is available at the peak of the Covid-19 epidemic.

“Our teams have worked around the clock to ensure that this facility was ready in a matter of weeks,” said Winde. “On Monday, it will start to take in its first patients. We have named it the Hospital of Hope, because it is aimed at being a place where people come to be cared for, to recover and to go home at the end of their treatment.”

Premier Alan Winde also presented the Western Cape’s government readiness plans to deal with COVID-19.

During the presentation to the President, Winde outlined the work the province has completed to date, creating additional healthcare capacity to ensure we are adequately prepared. Current plans for additional beds will create over 1400 beds in the province, and the potential CTICC 2 project, which is currently in discussions, could bring online 800 or more beds.

“President Ramaphosa has indicated that he would like to see even more beds in the province, and we will work with him and his team in order to determine the best way to source and fund these beds as well as the staff that will be required to care for the patients in those beds,” said Winde.

The presentation focused on three main challenges and risks the province currently faces. These include testing capacity, which has been constrained by the lack of testing kits and reagents. This has resulted in the need to implement a risk adjusted approach in the metro. The province is also looking to private labs, university labs and rapid serology test kits to help address this issue.

President Ramaphosa indicated that a new platform is being investigated which will enable countries across Africa to access millions of test kits.

The second challenge the province faces is the recruitment of health care staff for facilities and for additional beds. The Western Cape Government is able to source a total of 1477 healthcare workers- however, in order to meet all the staffing requirements for the potential CTICC 2 and to make up the shortfall created by absenteeism in the system, the Western Cape would require an additional 5272 healthcare workers- with the biggest demand being for nurses.

The third challenge raised with the President was around funding. The Western Cape Government has projected that it needs over R 3 billion in the current year to respond to COVID-19 in the Departments of Health and Transport and Public Works alone.

Ramaphosa told Winde that in the war against Covid-19, saving lives must take precedence over costs. He also indicated that funding would be made available which will help secure the beds, staff and supplies needed to continue to provide the necessary facilities and care to those who need medical attention.

Picture: Unsplash

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