South Africa: Premier Alan Winde Update On Covid-19 On 30 November

press release

As of 1 pm on 30 November, the Western Cape has 10057 active Covid-19 infections with a total of 130 826 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 116 125 recoveries.

Click here for statistics.

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 additional 15 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 4644 . We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

Strategies to manage the resurgence:

On Friday, I reintroduced weekly strategy meetings where problem solving discussions are held. This strategy discussion then feeds into the weekly cabinet meeting, where decisions are taken. The Western Cape Government, as a responsible and caring government, is considering a variety of different tools and approaches at our disposal to tackling the resurgence in the Western Cape, so that we are fully prepared and can ensure that our health system is not overwhelmed.

At this stage, no decision has been taken yet on localised restrictions, and we are still seeking legal advice on what is possible given that disaster restrictions are imposed by National Government, and not by provinces.

We will communicate our plan of action at this week's Digital Press Conference, held on Thursday.

I must reiterate that the main priority right now is to prevent a lockdown, that would devastate our economy. The best and quickest way to do this is through individuals, businesses and civil society playing their part by changing their behaviour.

We need to ensure every person wears a mask. We must avoid crowds and non-essential gatherings. And we must ensure we do not have close contact with others. If we follow these protocols, we can make a major dent in this resurgence. This should be every citizen's priority right no.

World Aids Day:

Tomorrow, we mark World Aids Day. As we battle the Covid-19 pandemic, we must not forget the battles fought and won in the Aids pandemic and the important work that remains in ensuring that we address both of these pandemics.

As a country, we have made significant strides from the early days of the Aids pandemic- we have rolled out ARVs that have saved lives, reduced mother to child transmission, and made huge advancements in research. But we still face obstacles- stigma continues to stop people from knowing and disclosing their status, and we still need to put considerable effort into reducing the number of HIV infections in high risk groups including teenage girls and young women, men who have sex with men, substance abusers and sex workers.

Covid-19 has presented us with a further challenge in that fewer people have been accessing health care services, including HIV testing, treatment. We have also seen a drop in testing and treatment for TB which is one of the leading causes of death for people living with HIV.

From early on in the pandemic, the Western Cape Government has delivered medications to stable chronic patients in their homes, to reduce their risk of Covid-19 infection and to ensure that they continue to receive treatment while we decongested our healthcare facilities.

As we have begun implementing our recovery plan, we have been scaling up healthcare services with a focus on those services which present a low risk but have a high impact on healthcare outcomes, including diabetes, hypertension, HIV, TB, immunisations and children and women's healthcare services.

Our recovery plan has also placed a special focus on TB treatment as part of our wellness response- implementing a 90-90-90 strategy to identify 90% of all TB cases and place them on treatment, find 90% of all TB cases in vulnerable population such as those who are living with HIV, and to successfully treat 90% of those diagnosed with drug resistant TB.

Managing TB and HIV together will significantly impact the wellbeing of many residents, which is why I have also proposed that the Provincial Council on Aids, which I chair, be renamed to the Provincial Council on Aids and TB.

This World Aids Day, I encourage you to get tested. Knowing your HIV status is important so that you can begin treatment if necessary and manage your health. Let us also support those who have HIV or Aids, and break the stigma which is still associated with this virus and which has a negative impact on the dignity of those living with it.

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