Statement delivered to the Media by MEC Madoda Sambatha on status of the Coronavirus in the North West Province
Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the media,
The world community of nations is in the middle of a response to Corona Virus (COVID – 19) pandemic. We meet here this morning following last night’s address by President Cyril Ramaphosa in which he declared national lockdown in the wake of increasing Coronavirus cases in the country. We sadly also learnt that the North West Province has now recorded 5 confirmed cases.
One patient is from Mahikeng, two from Rustenburg and one from Bloemhof. The Mahikeng patient is a 68 year old male who travelled to three countries in Europe – Spain, France and Italy. He is asymptomatic and quarantined at home. His primary contacts have been identified.
From Bojanala two cases are reported. The first one is a 39 year old female who sought care at Peglarae Hospital in Rustenburg on 17 March 2020. Tests were conducted by Lancet lab on 17th March and confirmed positive COVID19 on 21 March 2020. The patient has been on self-quarantine at home from 17th, is currently stable in good condition. The second patient is a 40 year old female visited obstetrician at Louis Pasteur hospital in Pretoria on 17th with symptoms. She was also tested by Lancet lab and confirmed positive on 21 March 2020. The patient is on self-quarantine at home since 17th. Condition stable.
The fourth patient is from Bloemhof in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati. This patient is said to have attended church in Bloemfontein and is a 21 year old female. She was in contact with visitors from European countries. The patient is asymptomatic and is self-quarantined. Contact tracing in is underway.
The fifth case is new, has just been announced today. We therefore are still tracking details of this case and will announce as information is received.
There are a number of risk factors we identified that needs to be mitigated if we are to adequately halt the spread. These are:
- Rapidly escalating numbers of COVID-19 cases
- Changes in the weather with winter approaching that may intensify the outbreak
- Companies running out of essential supplies
- Limited facilities for quarantine, holding and treatment that may result in compromised control and containment of transmission
- Lack of specific treatment and vaccine
- Infrastructure that is inappropriate for infection control
- Limited supplies
- Conflicting social and cultural practices that may promote transmission
- Poverty that results in poor habitation and nutritional status
- Potential of employees being infected
- Inadequate contact tracing when
large numbers are involved
Provincial Response to COVID-19
The North West Province has responded to the COVID-19 at the highest level. To date the following are in place:
- The Provincial Commad Team led by the Premier Prof Job Mokgoro is meeting regularly to intervene and take this decision
- The Provincial Disaster Management Committee was activated on the 16 March 2020 following the declaration of COVID-19 as a national disaster by the President on 15 March 2020
- Sectors involved in the disaster response include, government, private, non-governmental organisations, South African National Defence Force
- Disaster management plan developed
- Guideline for mass gatherings in place
- Activation of SAPS to provide oversight on mass gatherings.
- Facility management SOP of health facilities shared with private facilities
- Plan of reducing health facility attendance for non-urgent cases being developed
- Distribution of (Information, Education and Communication)IEC materials and media continuing
- The Standard Operating Procedures
(SOP) for quarantine in progress
- Urgent additional resources for protective supplies including sanitizers, tissues , masks and clean water
- Additional facilities for quarantine
- Additional tracer teams
- Additional COVID-19 holding and treatment facilities
- Additional dedicated transport for the exposed and persons under investigation
- Additional personnel for enhanced surveillance and clinical care
- Additional resources for
pharmaceuticals and surgical supplies
The following decisions have been taken to further halt the spread:
- At Provincial Public Service level, a team of Corporate Service Chief Directors has met to develop a roster system for all employees.
- Identification and procurement of additional health facilities for treatment and quarantine
- Interprovincial restrictions on movements. The key message here is to limit unnecessary movements and trips. We are saying, “Stay where you are, self-quarantine”.
- Quarantine facilities from other departments
- Decision making processes to be flattened and decentralised for quick and effective implementation
- Food security initiatives from relevant departments
The Department of Health is calling all stakeholders into a partnership. We need to use every available media platform to educate about symptoms and prevention strategies.
I thank you!
Source: Government of South Africa