Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde - 5 November

As of 1pm on 5 November, the Western Cape has 3134 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 117 192 confirmed cases and 109 669  recoveries.

Total confirmed Covid-19 cases

117 192

Total recoveries

109 669

Total deaths

4389

Total active cases (currently infected patients)

3134

Total number of tests

683 507

Hospital admissions 581 of which 116 are in ICU or high care
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Municipality

Cases

Recoveries

City of Cape Town

 80973

 75925

Cape Winelands District Municipality

 13314

 12599

Central Karoo District Municipality

 1032

 962

Garden Route District Municipality

11206

10326

Overberg District Municipality

 3729

 3515

West Coast District Municipality

 4704

4336

Unallocated

2234

2006

Total

117192

109669

 Sub Districts Cape Town Metro:

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Sub-districts

Cases

Recoveries

Western

10779

 10061

Southern

 10564

 9814

Klipfontein

 9666

 8952

Mitchells Plain

 9231

 8694

Tygerberg

 13972

 13273

Khayelitsha

8539

8032

Eastern

11001

10287

Northern

7221

6812

 Sub Districts Non-Metro:

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Municipality

Cases

Recoveries

City of Cape Town

80973

75925

Cape Winelands District Municipality

13314

12599

Breede Valley

3577

3394

Drakenstein

4602

4363

Langeberg

1203

1143

Stellenbosch

2241

2116

Witzenberg

1691

1583

Central Karoo District Municipality

1032

962

Beaufort West

854

793

Laingsburg

142

135

Prince Albert

36

34

Garden Route District Municipality

11206

10326

Bitou

733

680

George

4070

3661

Hessequa

369

341

Kannaland

147

143

Knysna

1684

1561

Mossel Bay

2587

2467

Oudtshoorn

1616

1473

Overberg District Municipality

3729

3515

Cape Agulhas

349

311

Overstrand

1756

1672

Swellendam

370

346

Theewaterskloof

1254

1186

West Coast District Municipality

4704

4336

Bergriver

518

482

Cederberg

181

168

Matzikama

747

639

Saldanha Bay

1516

1429

Swartland

1742

1618

Unallocated

2234

2006

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas. 

The Western Cape has recorded six additional deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 4389. We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

The Western Cape has not witnessed increase in COVID-19 cases in latest 7-day-rolling-average, but vigilance remains essential

At this week’s digital press conference, I was joined by the Chief Director of Disaster Management, Mr Colin Deiner, and Western Cape Department of Health’s Public Health Specialist, Professor Mary-Ann Davies to provide an update on our disaster management preparedness and COVID-19 health response respectively.

In terms of our latest 7-day-rolling average, we have not seen a further increase in cases of COVID-19 overall, with the number of cases marginally declining since last week. However, they have not yet come down to the same level as they were in September. We must therefore remain vigilant to prevent these ‘bushfires’ from becoming the ‘wildfires’ that might undermine our recovery efforts.  

During the presentation we also set out that:

  • Our hospitalisation and mortality data remain stable at this point, but that we have seen small growth in private sector hospitalisations which we will keep a close eye on.
  • Those increase in cases in specific geo-graphic areas are being tracked very carefully through regular huddle reports.
  • Those increase in cases that we have witnessed were largely people under the age of 30.
  • Our surveillance and containment strategy are critical over the next 18-24 months, Our surveillance and containment strategy are critical over the next 18-24 months, and in collaboration with the South African Medical Research Council we are now using waste-water treatment plants to check for Covid-19 in the City of Cape Town. This is going to be extended to areas outside of the metro. We have seen the spike witnessed at the Athlone waste-water treatment plant come down, but not completely.
  • The Western Cape’s natural deaths are within the bracket expected for this time of the year, as set out in SAMRC.

I again emphasised that the best way to prevent a spike of infections, or the “second wave”, is to simply change our behaviour. We need to continue to wear our masks, keep a safe, 1,5 metre distance from others and regularly wash our hands with soap or to use sanitiser.

We also need to follow the 3 ‘C’s. This means we must avoid large crowds of people, make sure that we avoid close-contact scenarios (by keeping a 1,5 metres distance) and that we should stay away from confined spaces especially when there is poor ventilation.

As we move into summer, many people are going to want to socialise more. This is very normal, especially after the very challenging and lonely year that we have experienced. It is possible to do this safely. We don’t have to stay at home, and we can see our friends. We just need to wise, in every setting, and follow these basic rules. 

That is why last week I called for a ‘Recovery Deal’ with the people of the Western Cape. We will continue to do everything we can to get our economy back on track, and to deliver jobs, safety and dignity in our communities. I will always fight for what is best for the people of our province. 

However, we need your help. If there is a major ‘wildfire’ of COVID-19 in the Western Cape, and additional restrictions are imposed, we will fundamentally undermine this recovery. It is therefore in all of our interests, be it individuals, families or businesses, to make the simple changes to our lives that we will keep us safe and keep us moving forward.

I again thank every single person in our province for what they have done to date. Let’s dig deep and become a successful outlier in the world – that we can all be proud of. 

The Western Cape Government remains ready to respond to other potential disasters that might impact our province 

During the briefing today, Mr Colin Deiner, set out the Western Cape's preparedness for the potential disasters, with a specific focus on wildfires. The full statement by Minister Anton Bredell, which followed the briefing is as follows:

Western Cape Wildfire risk high – Minister Anton Bredell 

The wildfire risk for the Western Cape is higher this year than in years before. 

The Chief Director of Disaster Management in the Western Cape, Mr Colin Deiner, delivered a briefing today during Premier Alan Winde’s digital press conference and provided an update on the Western Cape Government's disaster management preparedness.

“This year we haven’t been able to do all the fire breaks to the levels of previous years and all the regular preparation work in risky areas of the province was severely disrupted due to the Covid lockdown. We also had a lot of rain this year. This was positive in one sense, but in another, it contributed to huge increases in biomass which provides fuel to wildfires.”

Anton Bredell, the minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, has called on the public to help reduce the risk of wildfires and to report wildfires as soon as they are spotted.

“We have prepared as we always do for the wildfire season that generally starts from October and lasts throughout the summer months. But we need the support of the public to help prevent fires and help keep us informed to be able to respond to fires as soon as possible.”

Bredell says the province has twenty-nine (29) aerial support resources that it can call upon in the event of wildfires across the province.

“These include four fixed wing water bombers and one Black Hawk heavy lift helicopter. The aircraft will operate from 31 different airfields across the province.”

Deiner says the summer is predicted to be hot and windy. 

“In the past this has contributed to the severity of wildfires. Early fire warnings remain critical to controlling fires quickly. When a fire does break out, getting control over it as quickly as possible is vital. If we can get to a fire within the first hour the possibility of a major incident is minimized.”

When reporting fires in the Western Cape please contact your Local District Municipality: 

·         City of Cape Town - 107 or 021 480 7700 and 080 911 4357

·         Overberg - 028 425 1690

·         West Coast - 022 433 8700

·         Eden - 044 805 5071

·         Central Karoo – 023 449 8000

·         Cape Winelands – 021 886 9244 / 021 887 4446

Deiner further provided updates on the province’s preparedness with regards to seismic risk, hazardous material risk, explosion risk (with the recent Beirut disaster in mind) and other potential disasters. 

Some of the highlights as to the Western Cape’s capacity for disasters include:

  • In cooperation with SASOL the Provincial Government has placed two HAZMAT units in the Central Karoo and Overberg District Municipalities to respond to incidents on the N1 and N2 respectively.
  • Since 2015 the Department of Local Government has provided 50 Fire and Rescue vehicles to municipalities in the province.
  • The province has 130 trained rescue technicians who are able to perform rescue operations.