Please note: We are currently experiencing data delays and the Western Cape data dashboard has not yet updated. Our team is currently working on the problem and we apologise for any inconvenience caused. Once the delays have been resolved, the information will be available on our public dashboard at: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard
We currently have 528 people hospitalised, with 116 of these in ICU or high care.
Fake news alert:
We are aware of certain fake news messages being shared on social media which claim that COVID-19 numbers are increasing again in the province, or at certain Western Cape hospitals. This is fake news and I call on residents not to share it.
The province continues to record an average test positivity rate below 10 percent, while COVID-19 hospital admissions currently make up just 5% of our total hospital admissions in the province. There are also currently only 23 people admitted at the Brackengate Hospital of Hope.
New COVID-19 infections, deaths and hospitalisations continue to decline in the Western Cape. While this is good news, we must remain vigilant and continue to do everything possible to prevent a rise in Covid-19 infections in the future - as is being witnessed in other places in the world today.
We must however remain vigilant until such time as a vaccine is found and widely available. This requires us to continue to wear our masks in public, keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from any other person, and wash or sanitize our hands, and high traffic surfaces regularly.
Women's healthcare part of risk-based reintroduction of healthcare services:
The Department of Health in the Western Cape continues to focus on a risk-based reintroduction of other healthcare services. The initial focus is on rolling out and ramping up those services which present a low risk, but have a high impact on healthcare outcomes, such as diabetes, hypertension, HIV, TB, immunisations and children and women's healthcare services.
In line with this, we appeal to all those who have stopped medication or treatment, or those who have missed important screenings or immunisations, to make contact with their healthcare facility for advice on how best to resume treatment or to schedule an appointment for screenings.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and earlier today, Health Minister Nomafrench Mbombo visited the breast clinic at Groote Schuur, for a breast exam and mammogram as part of her regular health screenings. These screenings are an important aspect of women's health care, however, while rare, breast cancer does also impact men. With early detection and treatment, breast cancer can be managed with excellent outcomes.
If you are overdue for a screening, at risk because of a family history of breast cancer, or if you have noticed changes in your breasts, it is important that you discuss this with a healthcare practitioner at a healthcare facility. You may then be referred for a mammogram at one of our breast clinics.
You can find more information about breast cancer, risk factors, signs and symptoms as well as our breast clinics here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/breast-cancer-awareness
As we move forward, the province has identified dignity and wellbeing as one of the key focus areas of our recovery and ensuring the physical and mental health and wellbeing of residents is an important part of this.
Applications for small business relief close on Monday:
Small businesses are reminded that submissions for the Western Cape Government's R27 million small business relief fund close on Monday at 10am.
I encourage small business owners who have been impacted by Covid-19 and the lockdown to use this opportunity to apply. The fund, launched by Minister David Maynier and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, provides grant funding to subsidise business related expenses such as fixed costs, operational costs, supplier debt and other pressure cost items.
Small businesses in both the formal and informal sector are able to apply.
All of the information and forms needed to apply, are available here: https://www.westerncape.gov.za/general-publication/western-cape-c-19-business-relief-fund