Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the provincial government is working on a recovery plan to help the province deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic now that the region has passed its peak in infections. Winde hosted a digital press conference to discuss the move to alert level 2 of the lockdown for the province, as well as provide an update on the Western Cape’s COVID-19 health response.
Winde says the province’s recovery plan will be aimed at reducing the increased levels of hunger, poverty and unemployment which were caused by the pandemic. Details regarding the plan will be finalised in the coming weeks. Winde says the plan will also assist with the recovery of the economy in the province.
“The lessons that we’ve learnt in managing the COVID-19 pandemic are invaluable as a government and as a team and we going to be using exactly those lessons in the recovery plan.”
Winde has called on residents to go out and support local businesses, now that South Africa has moved to level two of the lockdown and economic activity has resumed in more sectors of the economy.
He says the businesses that have reopened will require support from the public in order for them to survive and to preserve jobs. Winde also urged residents to continue to maintain COVID-19 safety protocols at all times.
“I’m now asking you to continue to wear your mask, continue to clean your hands and use hand sanitizers, continue to be absolutely aware of social distancing, but what I am asking you to do is venture out from home and go and support a local business. We need to do that. We all need to play our part in saving jobs.”
Head of the Western Cape Department of Health, Dr Keith Cloete says the province’s COVID-19 case, mortality and hospitalisation data continues to stabilise. He says the province’s health platform response has adequately coped with cases requiring admission during the initial surge in infections.
Cloete says the Department is now focussing on containing the virus. He says hospitals will also start offering more services, that were put on hold due to COVID-19, in the coming months.
“We remain in a position to contract with the private sector. The introduction of the comprehensive health services have started to scale from the first of August and it will happen in a balanced manner and it’s essential to have a strong focus on containment for the next 12 to 24 months, coupled with having appropriate seroprevalence to have surveillance for potential outbreak of cases.”
According to the Western Cape’s COVID-19 dashboard, the province currently has around 5 000 active COVID-19 cases. The number of confirmed cases now stands at nearly 102 000 with around 93 000 recoveries. While around 3 700 people have died from the virus. Around 461 000 tests have been conducted in the province so far.