First coronavirus case in Khayelitsha as Western Cape tally climbs to 310

Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town has an isolation unit for Covid-19. (Jenni Evans, News24)
Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town has an isolation unit for Covid-19. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Khayelitsha in the Western Cape has recorded its first positive coronavirus case, according to Premier Alan Winde's office, and the total number of positive cases in the province has climbed to 310.

Fourteen people have been hospitalised, including three in intensive care.

Winde's spokesperson Bianca Capazorio said each case, from Khayelitsha and Mitchell's Plain to Mossel Bay, were of concern to the government.

"The stats show us that this virus is spreading, reaching communities across our province," she said.

"These stats again demonstrate why abiding by this lockdown is so essential. If we are to #stopthespread, we must stay home, in our homes, and limit contact with other people. Coronavirus is very much here, and although we cannot stop its spread entirely, we have a window of opportunity to slow it down and we must embrace it," Capazorio said.

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She added that the province's response teams were treating cases in informal settlements with the urgency they need and that they were following up on contacts and making sure isolation takes place. 

Members of the public have been called on to show understanding, to assist those who need help the most and to not stigmatise the virus because no one is immune to it.

The provincial government encouraged people to adhere to the regulations in place during the 21-day lockdown in the country, which is aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

"This virus will impact us all, but it will impact our most vulnerable, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions the hardest. We must all play a role in halting its spread by staying in our homes, Capazorio said.

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Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: "Wearing a mask or gloves when going to the supermarket or pharmacy to buy essentials is ineffective, unnecessary, and will not protect you from the coronavirus. In fact, it spreads the virus faster because it makes you a carrier from one person to another, it also gives false security that you don't need to wash or sanitize your hands."

The minister added that personal protective equipment (PPE) is a scarce commodity and should be used appropriately and by the appropriate people.

"If you are not ill and not in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, you do not need to wear a mask or gloves. These are only important if you are in direct contact with or caring for a person who is confirmed or suspected to have Covid-19 at home or in a health facility. This is part of infection control."

Here is a breakdown of the cases in the Western Cape per district:

  • City of Cape Town – 256
  • Cape Winelands – 17
  • Garden Route – 21
  • Overberg – 7

District information for nine cases is unknown.

The affected Cape Town Metro sub-districts are:

  • Western - 106
  • Southern - 98
  • Northern - 16
  • Tygerberg - 15
  • Eastern -10
  • Klipfontein - 5
  • Mitchells Plain - 5
  • Khayelitsha - 1

Other affected sub-districts are:

  • Bitou – 9
  • Stellenbosch – 8
  • Drakenstein – 6
  • George – 6
  • Overstrand – 5
  • Breede Valley – 3
  • Hessequa – 3
  • Mossel Bay – 3
  • Swellendam – 1
  • Theewaterskloof – 1

The provincial government reminded people that police and law enforcement officers would continue to make arrests and issue fines for people who contravened the rules.

To report contraventions, residents can call 10111, their local police or law enforcement.

The Western Cape government has also condemned the spread of fake news about the outbreak.

"We note also the reported arrest of a Cape Town man for spreading fake news about the coronavirus. Fake news is deeply dangerous in a time like this, as it creates fear, panic and uncertainty. Spreading of fake news is now an offence and we call on people to only share content from trusted sources," Capazorio said.

She said a form doing the rounds, claiming that residents need to fill in their details so they can leave the house to buy essentials, was fake.

"Members of the public do not need to fill in a form to go buy food or medication," Capazorio added.

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