As of 1pm today [19 May] the Western Cape has 6195 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 10 558 confirmed infections and 4363 recoveries. A total of 473 348 people have been screened, with 12 095  of those referred people for further testing.

Unfortunately, the Western Cape has recorded an additional 18 COVID-19 deaths-bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in the province to 183. We extend our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

The Sub-district breakdown is as follows:

Government officials have also reiterated that the nationwide lockdown was done to prepare our health system for the inevitable peak of the coronavirus. The scientific reason for the lockdown, and which has been made clear by experts, was to buy us time to prepare for the peak that will inevitably come. The virus cannot be stopped and will continue to spread throughout the country. Officials have been working around the clock to make sure that we are prepared and that every resident that requires healthcare gets it when they need it.

This has included:

-R725.5-million has been committed towards COVID-19 related expenditure across the Western Cape Government.

-Establishing a dedicated Coronavirus Provincial Hotline for residents to call, that has received a total of 28 500 calls since March 16, 2020. On average it receives 500 calls a day.

-The conversion of the CTICC into a temporary hospital facility that will provide some 850 additional beds at the peak of the pandemic is well underway.

-The opening of additional temporary hospitals along the R300 in the Metro, in Khayelitsha and in the Cape Winelands that collectively provide an additional 616 beds.

-The opening of 18 testing and triage centres (12 are already operational) to provide additional support at these facilities.

– Roughly 3888 Community Health Workers operating across the province, with a further 464 due to start work soon.

-Increased the number of tests from 7 975 on April 1 to 94 275 on May 18. This is an increase of 1182%. This represents a testing ratio of 1347.27 per 100 000, the highest in the country.

-An online screening tool which has assisted in screening 62 200 people.

-The recruitment of 1 645 volunteers to support healthcare workers when this peak arrives.

-The purchase of R350 487 835.00-million worth of PPE so that healthcare workers have the protection they need to care for every sick person.

-Providing the public sector with 86 129 flu vaccinations thus far – 65 670 vaccinations to vulnerable groups of people and 20 459 vaccinations to healthcare workers.

-Since the pandemic, officials have de-escalated non-essential operations at our healthcare facilities in the Western Cape, which has freed up existing ward capacity in these hospitals.

-The ordering of an additional 100 ventilators, in addition to the 432 that already exist, to be used at the peak and use our current piped medical gas for high-flow oxygen treatment.

-The Red Dot Transport Service will also safely transport those who test positive for COVID-19 to facilities if they cannot isolate safely at home and others to quarantine facilities should they need it.

“When you keep yourself safe, through practicing good hygiene, keeping your distance, and wearing a mask properly, you help keep vulnerable people who are at higher risk safe too. Your actions can save lives, and we need every person to continue to be our partner in this COVID-19 response.” says Premier Alan Winde.

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