COVID-19 death rate at this stage in line with international data: W Cape govt

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 The number of COVID-19 infections in the Western Cape has spiked to 4049 with 76 deaths being recorded. This is according the province’s online dashboard. The Western Cape has the most coronavirus infections in the country.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the province’s COVID-19 death rate at this stage is in line with international data on the progression of the virus in other countries.

Winde says the death rate is not higher in the Western Cape than it is elsewhere in the world and it is likely to be the same rate countrywide, if all the COVID-19 data is reported accurately.

He was speaking during a digital media briefing.

“We’re at 1.8 %. That’s in actual fact the initial tracking set by our scenario planning. It has shown us that, that would probably be where we are and that we are tracking with international norms. People don’t really want to analyse and talk about death, but we need to do it, because it’s about understanding the numbers and making sure that you’re on the right track.”

Head of the Health Department in the Western Cape, Dr Keith Cloete, also addressed the media during the briefing. He says they will be working with the private sector to speed up the turnaround time for COVID-19 tests.

The province has already conducted more than 50 000 tests.

Cloete says the National Health Laboratory currently does not have the capacity to deal with the high test volumes. He says there is currently a delay of up to seven days for test results.

“We’ve made a decision that we will be using private sector capacity as well in addition to the National Health Laboratory system, plus the Minister and the Premier have written, respectively, to the national Minister and to the President, so it is getting attention at the highest level in the country. So, we are looking at bringing the capacity that’s required online over the next two to three weeks and we have multiple solutions on the table.”

The province also urged citizens to continue to adhere to lockdown regulations and maintain high hygiene standards as well as safe social distancing, in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In the video below, the Western Cape government briefs the media on COVID-19 developments in the province: