Statement by Premier Alan Winde on first coronavirus deaths

27 March 2020

A few short months ago, the world learned of a virus that was spreading rapidly through the province of one country, leaving little in its wake but chaos and mourning.

Since then, we have seen this virus get its own name – Covid-19 – and we have seen it spread from village to village, town to town and country to country. And while we have learnt that many experience only mild symptoms, some none at all, for others, the effect has been severe, and the world has lost many lives.

South Africa, and the Western Cape, has not been spared. On the 11th of March, Covid-19 arrived in our province. Today, we woke up to the sad news that we, too, have seen our first casualties.  A 28 year-old woman and 48 year-old woman both passed away this morning.

The 48 year-old woman’s condition worsened while in ICU, and she passed away this morning.

The 28 year-old was admitted to hospital yesterday and received emergency healthcare. She also passed away this morning. The clinical picture is consistent with Covid-19 but we are awaiting the test results to confirm this.

We mourn this loss as a province and as a country. Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the deceased. I would like to ask all our residents to join me in a moment of silence at midday today, as we mark the loss, and celebrate their lives.

As we all strive to stop its spread, by each making the decision to stay at home until it becomes absolutely necessary to pop out for absolute essentials, let’s have in our minds the lives we will each save if we all work together. We are staying home for ourselves, our family and friends, our grandmas and grandpas, for the healthcare workers who are facing this virus head on and need our help to flatten the curve, and for our fellow men and women across South Africa.

It is up to each of us. Together, let’s stop the spread.