Western Cape Covid-19 infections pass 1,000 and deaths rise to 22

Premier Alan Winde briefs the Western Cape legislature's ad-hoc committee on Covid-19 on April 22 2020.
Premier Alan Winde briefs the Western Cape legislature's ad-hoc committee on Covid-19 on April 22 2020.
Image: Twitter/Alan Winde

The number of Covid-19 cases in the Western Cape soared over 1,000 on Wednesday, and deaths in the province increased by five to 22.

Premier Alan Winde said infections increased to 1,068 in the 24 hours to 5pm on Tuesday. This was an increase of 9.6% over the previous total.

Winde said the five people who had died were men aged 43, 49 and 79 and women aged 54 and 95. “We send our condolences to all of their loved ones at this time,” he said.

A total of 229 patients had recovered, 42 were in hospital and 19 in intensive care.

More than 20,000 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in the Western Cape, but Winde said he was “deeply concerned” that the screening and testing teams continued to come under attack in communities.

“These teams are vital in our response to Covid-19 and any attack on them hinders our ability to respond effectively to this pandemic,” he said.

The attacks had taken place in tandem with an upsurge in looting and public violence.

“We are facing a major humanitarian crisis across South Africa, as the impact of the lockdown hits vulnerable people,” said Winde.

“This worries me tremendously, and we have taken a number of steps to help as much as possible. Thousands of NGOs and community-based organisations are doing the same.

However, breaking the law will not be tolerated. Looting is criminal, and the stealing of food parcels, must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

“We are already under extreme pressure to provide food and assistance to people, and criminal acts place even further pressure on us. Beyond this, however, these thefts are hurting the poor and the hungry, who rely on those food parcels for their survival.”

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