Media Release: Update on the coronavirus by Premier Alan Winde

18 June 2020

As of 1pm on 18 June, the Western Cape has 12 722 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 46951 confirmed cases and 32953 recoveries.

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 46951
Total recoveries 32953
Total deaths 1276
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 12722
Tests conducted 256733
Hospitalisations 1470 with 248 in ICU or high care

Sub Districts Cape Town Metro:

Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Western 4325 3149
Southern 4329 3113
Northern 3092 2217
Tygerberg 6607 4962
Eastern 4226 3030
Klipfontein 4980 3597
Mitchells Plain 4196 3097
Khayelitsha 5501 4413
Total 37256 27578

Sub-districts:

District  Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Garden Route Bitou 22 17
Garden Route Knysna 96 67
Garden Route George 212 110
Garden Route Hessequa 18 15
Garden Route Kannaland 3 2
Garden Route Mossel Bay 79 36
Garden Route Oudsthoorn 28 13
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 683 433
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 1913 1178
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 920 531
Cape Winelands Langeberg 194 76
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 470 339
Overberg Overstrand 311 155
Overberg Cape Agulhas 31 22
Overberg Swellendam 24 15
Overberg Theewaterskloof 237 140
West Coast Bergrivier 158 94
​West Coast ​Cederberg 18 6
West Coast Matzikama 28 6
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 359 182
West Coast Swartland 363 183
Central Karoo Beaufort West 2 2

Unallocated: 3526 (1753 recoverd)

More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 71 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 1276. We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

Comorbidities:

During our weekly digicon today, public health specialist with the Department of Health, Professor Mary-Ann Davies presented her findings on how COVID-19 impacts people living with HIV, TB and other comorbidities.

These findings are important because while we have good data coming from other countries around comorbidities, there was little data around whether HIV and TB presented increased risk. The findings have revealed that while these two comorbidites do present slightly increased risk, the impact is small compared to the risks associated with old age and other illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.

Using data available in the public sector for comorbidities, she has determined that for every 100 COVID-19 deaths in the public sector:

-52 deaths can be attributed to diabetes

-19 can be attributed to high blood pressure

-12 can be attributed to HIV

-9 can be attributed to kidney disease

-6 can be attributed to TB (2 to current TB and 4 to previous TB).

Testing backlog:

The Western Cape Department of Health was notified today that all samples currently being processed at the National Health Laboratory Services labs in the Western Cape have been received in the past 48 hours. This means that the backlog in testing, which reached up to 27 000 tests at its worst, has now been completely cleared. We will continue to track the situation to determine whether the NHLS can continue to process tests without developing a new backlog before reviewing our decision to implement a risk adjusted testing strategy which focuses on providing testing to residents which need it most- including healthcare workers, those already in hospital, those over the age of 55, people in old aged homes and people with comorbidities which would put them at additional risk.

We thank the NHLS for their hard work to resolve the backlog and President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Zweli Mkhize for intervening when the Western Cape raised their concerns about the backlogs.

Testing and triage update:

A total of 19 temporary testing and triage centres have been completed at hospitals across the province. Of these, 14 have been built in the metro and 5 have been completed in our non-metro regions. We are currently working to bring an additional 14 online in the metro by 1 July, and an additional 26 in our non-metro regions by the middle to end of July.

These testing and triage centres are an important part of our healthcare readiness response as they allow for testing to be conducted separately from other hospital functions, and also ensure that our emergency units are not overwhelmed by requests for testing.

Hospital admissions:

Pressure has been building in our acute hospital facilities, however, these hospitals are not yet at full capacity and still have some spare capacity to admit COVID-19 patients. Our critical care wards at Groote Schuur and at Tygerberg are currently running at near capacity, however, two exciting medical breakthroughs may help to relieve some of this pressure. The high flow nasal oxygen which we are bringing online is starting to make a difference at both Groote Schuur and at Tygerberg, as it presents an alternative therapy to people being treated on ventilators.

We are also currently working on the clinical protocols for dexamethasone administration to patients on ventilators and oxygen therapy. Preliminary results coming out of the UK have shown really positive results in reducing mortality in serious cases of COVID-19.