Coronavirus News Africa

Western Cape cases rise above 500, local Shoprite closes after staffer tests positive

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The number of Covid-19-infected people who are now in hospital in the Western Cape has risen to 31, with nine in intensive care, while in Bothasig, Cape Town, a local Shoprite store was closed after a staff member tested positive.

The number of positive cases in the province had climbed to 510, Premier Alan Winde said in a statement on Wednesday.

In Bothasig, the Shoprite store was shut immediately on Tuesday after the staff member tested positive.

A professional decontamination company was brought in to sanitise and deep-clean the facility, the group said in a statement.

Shoprite added all employees were tested, and those who worked closely with the infected employee have been placed in self-isolation at home for the next 14 days.

A mobile clinic was set up on-site to test all employees.

“The store remains closed until it is inspected and we receive confirmation from the provincial Department of Health that it may re-open,” the retail group added.

Winde said: “It is important that we all continue to take the necessary steps to ensure we protect ourselves and others. This includes regular hand washing, not touching your face, and abiding by the rules of the lockdown by staying home.”

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These hygiene protocols, and physical distancing, remained the “gold standard for infection prevention and we must continue to use these as our strongest line of defence”, he added.

Testing continues to be ramped up.

By Tuesday, 3 930 people were screened in the Western Cape since it rolled out community screening at the weekend. Of these, 258 were referred for testing based on their responses to the screening questionnaire.

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“We saw an excellent uptake in Happy Valley [in Blackheath] with 1 055 people screened, Mbekweni [in Paarl] with 509 screened and Ilitha Park [in Khayelitsha] with 437 screened. In the Bo-Kaap, 408 people were screened by Tuesday afternoon.

“Today, I had the opportunity to demonstrate the screening and testing process with Dr Justin Standaar of the Green Point Community Clinic.

“After answering the questions that form part of the screening, Dr Standaar performed two swabs – one from the top of my nasal passage, and another from my throat.

“There has been a lot of fake news around the safety of the test and what it entails. Having now undergone it myself, I can say the test was slightly uncomfortable, being something I had never experienced before, but it was both painless and is 100% safe.

“I urge all those in areas where community testing is being offered to take up the opportunity. Community testing helps us to determine the presence of the virus in specific areas, and is an important tool in helping to stop the spread,” Winde said.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: “Fake news and misinformation around health news constitutes a potential threat to the public health and it robs people of vital information that can help them to get the best out of the health system.

“This is not the time for bad jokes nor is it the time to instill fear. I welcome the enthusiasm to screen and test despite recent fake news events. This has led us to expanding more sites to ensure that many people get to be screened and tested.”



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