Six new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the Western Cape – bringing total confirmed cases to 16

15 March 2020

Between 14 and 15 March 2020, the Western Cape Department of Health received notification of six more laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus, - bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to sixteen.

All six positive tests (males with varying ages) were received from private laboratories and feedback given to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases. These six new cases, adding to the existing 10, all presented to private facilities with flu-like symptoms and recent international travel history to various countries.

All 16 confirmed cases are being monitored and followed up by our health teams for 14 days. This includes regular testing every second or third day. Their close contacts are also being followed up with. Patients will be declared virus free if they test negative after two consecutive tests.

Should you develop flu-like symptoms after visiting a country or area where COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in the community OR had close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 stay calm. Remember even if you do have COVID-19 most people have a mild illness.

If you have access to private healthcare call your general doctor/ local health facility or NICD Hotline. Explain your symptoms and where you have travelled or with whom you have had contact. It is important that you call ahead before visiting a health facility.

It is advisable for you to stay at home and self-isolate if you display the symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, sore throat) combined with the international travel history or came into contact with a confirmed case. Contact the Hotline on 0800 029 999. They will advise you on the next steps. For Western Cape citizens struggling to get through to the Hotline an alternative number has been set up to assist local citizens with health related information on COVID-19– 021 928 4102.

There are certain basic things the public can do to prevent the spread of the virus:

  • Wash hands regularly
  • Cover you cough and sneeze, in the crook of your arm or tissue and throw it away
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Reconsider or avoid non-essential international travel to affected areas
  • Keep a distance of at least one metre from people who are sick
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell

Gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited. Avoiding large gatherings such as events, public spaces and crowds can prevent the spread of COVID-19. By adhering to these social distancing instructions as communicated by the President the spread of the virus from person to person can be prevented.

We all need to work together to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately prevent it. By making the basic hygiene principles part of our daily lives and limit social gatherings you play a big role in preventing the further spread of COVID-19. In doing so, you not only protect yourself but you also protect your family and your community.

We also advise the public that there are no door-to-door tests being conducted and such activity should be reported to the police.