‘We have 18 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Province and six recoveries.’
WITH 18 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Northern Cape, the provincial Department of Health has indicated that it has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the “curve is flattened”.
The MEC for Health, Mase Manopole, said a mass screening programme has been rolled out in the Province and additional health staff and resources have been acquired.
“We have 18 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Province and six recoveries. More than 244 000 people have been screened in the mass programme so far. We kicked off the mass screening and testing in the Phokwane area (in the Frances Baard District ) and proceeded to the Pixley ka Seme District last week. We are now in John Taolo Gaetsewe District, thereafter we will head to ZF Mgcawu then to the Namakwa District,” said Manopole on Tuesday.
The MEC stated that the Northern Cape had a total of 1 350 beds available in the five districts for people who needed to be placed in quarantine/isolation.
“We are preparing for the ‘worst-case scenario’ as a precaution so that we are not caught off guard. In addition to these preparations, we have also hired additional nurses and doctors to assist,” said Manopole.
She said the mass screenings were aimed at locating possible positive Covid-19 cases speedily.
“We are going out to the communities and trying to locate possible infections. It is important that we trace the people who might be Covid-19 positive instead of waiting for them to come to us. That way we can prevent the infection rate from rising drastically. We are aware that even during mass testing there will still be a number of infections. However, we have taken all the necessary precautions to avoid a runaway fire,” Manopole said.
She added that provision had been made for those who struggle to self-isolate at home. “People who are staying in a small house, where they are not able to self-isolate, can be taken to one of the identified sites.”
Manopole said that there were teams at the sites who would look after those who had tested positive for Covid-19.
“As a department, we need to be in constant contact with those who are positive so that we can assess their progress. At the site, they will be provided with meals which will be served in disposable packs which can be destroyed afterwards. This is also a precaution to stop the spread of the virus to the team who is with the positive person,” she said.
Manopole urged community members to avail themselves for screening.
“Testing and screening has been progressing well. We have to ensure we contain the spread of the virus. We appeal to everyone to comply with the stipulated regulations. Community members must also not spread false information and news about testing as this hampers our efforts to fight the spread.”
She thanked health workers for answering the call to fight the scourge.
“Our health workers are suppressing their fears about this virus on a daily basis. They are also concerned about their health and that of their families but they are adhering to the national call to assist in this fight. For that we are grateful. We call on community members to support our health workers by being co-operative during screenings. Community members must also remember to stay at home, wash their hands and maintain their social distance,” Manopole advised.
Meanwhile, in Kimberley there appeared to be a low number of people who came forward for screening in the CBD area.
A tent, which served as a mobile clinic, was erected in the parking area behind McDonald’s in town. Around 70 people visited the tent for Covid-19 screening before it closed at 4pm on Tuesday.