The Western Cape has recorded another 30 deaths, its premier Alan Winde has said, bringing the province’s death toll to 387.
By Wednesday afternoon, the province, which is the country’s epicentre and has about 60% of all cases in South Africa, had 16,551 confirmed cases. A total of 7,660 cases were active, and there have been 8,504 recoveries.
“We extend our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased at this time,” said Winde in a statement.
Four schools in the Western Cape have recorded Covid-19-positive cases among returning teachers and more than 1,000 cases are public health workers.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer told eNCA the affected institutions were The Hague Primary School in Delft, Parkvale Primary School in Valhalla Park, Kasselsvlei High and Wallacedene Primary School.
The number of hospital admissions in the province is 660, of which 182 are in ICU or high care.
The numbers in the Cape Metro showed the Tygerberg, Klipfontein and Khayelitsha areas had topped 2,000 cases, but were also showing a relatively high recovery rate.
So far, 1,337 people have been admitted to isolation and quarantine sites across the province.
By 25 May, there were also 325 people in designated isolation facilities (282 in the Cape Metro and 43 in rural area facilities) and 137 in quarantine facilities (34 people in the Cape Metro and 103 people in rural districts).
The ANC Youth League’s Boland regional task team said its convener, Zizipho Kwini, was among those who tested positive for the coronavirus.
In a statement, her comrades wished her well as she waited for her treatment while in isolation.
Winde recently came out of isolation following a one-on-one interview with the late eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom who had contracted the virus.
“As we move closer towards the peak in the province, the need for quarantine and isolation space will escalate drastically,” he said.
“The Western Cape government has activated or is in the process of activating over 3,500 quarantine and isolation beds with several thousand more in the pipeline.”
On Wednesday a 300-bed unit facility furnished and donated by Old Mutual was visited by Winde and Transport and Public Works MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela.
Winde said he was grateful to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on the clarity regarding the Level 3 lockdown from 1 June.
There had been some confusion over whether coronavirus “hotspots” would remain at the more stringent Level 4 due to their higher numbers.
He added he was pleased more people could go back to work, but also stressed the need to follow the health advisories on regular hand-washing, social distancing, and wearing masks.
“Level 3 will require us to act with greater consideration for our own safety and the safety of those around us. Hygiene measures such as washing our hands regularly and keeping workspaces clean, and coughing into a tissue or your arm remain of utmost importance,” Winde said.
“We must still stay home as much as possible and avoid large gatherings. Always keep a distance of at least 1.5m from any other person and wear a clean, cloth mask when outside of the home. If you feel sick or unwell, stay at home. These measures have the ability to significantly flatten the curve of infection if everyone commits to them.”