As of today [17 June], the Western Cape has 12 738 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 45 767 confirmed cases and 31 824 recoveries.

Unallocated: 3063 (1706 recovered).

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

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 49 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 1205. “We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time,” Premier Alan Winde said in a statement.

Small business safety:

Today Minister of Economic Opportunities, David Maynier was in Mitchells Plain to hand out the first of 11 000 business safety kits which will be distributed to SMMEs and informal traders across the province. Each kit consists of two bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, ten re-usable cloth masks, posters providing information on safe practices for staff and leaflets which can be distributed to customers on shopping safety.

These 11 000 kits will be distributed across the province, with a focus on those trading in hotspot areas, and will supplement kits already distributed by the City of Cape Town.

“Our hotspot strategy includes interventions from across many of our departments as slowing the spread of the virus requires a whole of government approach,” Winde said. “We are working closely with businesses and business organisations in our hotspots to help slow the spread of the virus. Small businesses and informal traders have an important role to play as they are very often based right in the heart of the communities they serve. These kits will help to minimise the spread of the virus, share information and help the businesses keep their staff and customers safe.”

Dexamethasone:

Researchers in the UK have released incredibly positive initial findings around the use of the steroid Dexamethasone in critically ill COVID-19 patients. These preliminary findings have shown a reduction in mortality in patients who are being ventilated and to a lesser degree, in those who require oxygen support. The drug has been in use since the 1960s, and is widely available with several generic versions in production, making it affordable too.

Yesterday, Minister Zweli Mkhize indicated that while we wait for the results of the full study to be made available, the use of the drug could be considered for COVID-19 positive patients who are being mechanically ventilated, and patients who require oxygen support. The Western Cape Department of Health has received the recommendations of the Ministerial Advisory Committee and we are currently
finalising the clinical protocols for the use of the drug.

“I must however stress that this drug is not a cure and it is not for use in patients with milder symptoms. We are however encouraged that it has the potential to be lifesaving for some of the people most severely impacted by this disease,” Winde added.

Picture: Pixabay

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