Today [April 1], Premier Alan Winde informed residents of the Cape that two more people have died a result of COVID-19 in the province.
“The Western Cape has recorded another two deaths, bringing the provincial total to 48. We send our condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased at this difficult time,” he said.
“We firmly believe that if done responsibly, the economy in the Western Cape can open up while preventing the spread of COVID-19. We are committed to supporting business in the Western Cape through this crisis. That is why we are finalizing a set of guidelines for business, informed by the Department of Health. We are also actively working to unpack the regulations so that we can advise businesses if they are able to operate under level 4. And finally, we will be providing guidance to businesses on what to do if a staff member displays symptoms or tests positive,” Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, said.
Today was the first day of Level 4 lockdown in South Africa. Many residents in the Western Cape, just like the rest of the country, took up the opportunity to exercise in line with these new regulations promulgated by the National Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. These regulations allow residents to exercise within a 5km radius of their homes between 6am and 9am.
“In many of the country’s high density cities, abiding by these regulations during a very set-time has resulted in high levels of congregation in public spaces,” Winde said. “This is the unfortunate result of regulations which I am afraid were not thought through and regrettably lack common sense. The medical and scientific reason for the lockdown has been to limit gathering, so as to slow the spread of Covid-19. By forcing residents to only exercise during a very set-time period, we are forcing congregation.”
Furthermore, little consideration was given to the fact that sunrise is later in the Western Cape as we approach winter, therefore providing an even smaller window of time for a large number of people to exercise in line with the new regulations.
“The Western Cape Government will therefore petition the National Minister to provide for additional times for exercise during daylight hours, so that we can drastically reduce volumes of people exercising at any one point,” Winde added. “We have seen from the 22 000 submissions to the national government on the issue of exercise, and the enthusiastic response by people around the country, that this opportunity is valued and appreciated.
Cardiovascular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, which also has a positive impact on lung health. “We should encourage healthy lifestyle choices and allow residents of the Western Cape to take responsibility for themselves by practicing social distancing and wearing their masks while exercising,” the Premier added.
“My request to all our residents is to please do everything possible to avoid any gathering whatsoever. You must keep your distance from others. You must exercise alone. You must wear a cloth mask, and be sure to follow the golden rules of hygiene at all times. If you are not feeling well, you must not leave your home at all. This is important. Please first call the Provincial Hotline on 021 928 4102 for advice on what you should do next.”