A stats dashboard has been launched in the Western Cape to offer the latest bird’s-eye view of the pandemic in the province.
This is one of two new tech management tools to have been launched to fight off Covid-19 in the province.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde warned they were expecting numbers to “double every eight days”, according to their specialist medical advisors.
To practice transparency and accountability, the Western Cape Government launched a “Covid-19 Dashboard”. The dashboard will be updated at 13.00pm every day, and is populated with data from various data sources – including both public and private medical institutions.
The address is www.coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard.
The updated records presented on Thursday afternoon included new totals of 46 deaths, 56 new positive cases in the past 48 hours, 2,371 cases thus far, and 35,867 tests conducted.
Western Cape health department head Dr Keith Cloete explained the province’s screening strategy was neither completely random nor volume-based. Instead, their efforts were “focused”.
The province was running a highly disciplined “Track-and-Trace” campaign, in which the people potentially linked to positive people were located, screened and tested too.
Winde said another new management tool was now complete – the “Food Map”. This allowed for a comprehensive analysis of all food providers and supplies – from NGOs to all three spheres of government.
This system would allow the authorities to potentially “see the gaps”, and address any unavailability of food.
If cases spiked in particular areas – an event known as “bushfires” – Winde said multi-disciplinary teams, comprising medical, law enforcement, social and economic teams, would visit areas to understand and quell the spikes. If necessary, a localised lockdown level could be imposed for an area. An example of a recent spike was in Witzenberg, where the number of cases soared from zero to 106.
In a case such as this, the premier would consult the National Command Centre to motivate for an area-based hyper-local “level” adjustment.
“The numbers are going to go up,” Winde stressed.
There were two primary priorities: “We just have to make sure they don’t get out of control.”
And: “We all have a responsibility of making sure we [stop] the curve growing as slowly as possible.”
This, to ensure medical facilities were never overwhelmed, “so we can treat every one of you, should you get this virus,” Winde said.
He warned the public, ahead of the relaxation of lockdown levels from the current Level 5 to Level 4 on Friday: “Don’t go crazy. The rules still apply. Don’t leave your home without your mask. Practice physical distancing.”