Coronavirus – South Africa: Premier Alan Winde on Coronavirus COVID-19 cases for 3 September

Coronavirus - South Africa: Premier Alan Winde on Coronavirus COVID-19 cases for 3 September

Coronavirus - South Africa: Premier Alan Winde on Coronavirus COVID-19 cases for 3 September
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As of 1pm on 3 September, the Western Cape has 3272 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 105 552 confirmed cases and 98 339 recoveries. 

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases 105 552
Total recoveries 98 339
Total deaths 3941
Total active cases (currently infected patients) 3272
Tests conducted 486372
Hospitalisations 776 with 159 in ICU or high care

Cape Metro Sub-districts: 

 Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Western 9243  8699
Southern 9518  8831
Northern 6599 6246
Tygerberg 13130  12387
Eastern 10015  9360
Klipfontein 9064  8305
Mitchells Plain 8499  7973
Khayelitsha 8249  7756
Total 74317 69557

Sub-districts: 

 District  Sub-district Cases Recoveries
Garden Route Bitou 579 534
Garden Route Knysna 1370 1275
Garden Route George 3352 3079
Garden Route Hessequa 275 252
Garden Route Kannaland 110 106
Garden Route Mossel Bay 2172 1998
Garden Route Oudsthoorn 1212 959
Cape Winelands Stellenbosch 2003 1882
Cape Winelands Drakenstein 4234 3957
Cape Winelands Breede Valley 3299 3066
Cape Winelands Langeberg 1114 1032
Cape Winelands Witzenberg 1545 1397
Overberg Overstrand 1540 1457
Overberg Cape Agulhas 269 247
Overberg Swellendam 291 254
Overberg Theewaterskloof 1145 1075
West Coast Bergrivier 411 377
West Coast Cederberg 162 150
West Coast  Matzikama 346 288
West Coast Saldanha Bay Municipality 1346 1261
West Coast Swartland 1502 1373
Central Karoo Beaufort West 526 397
Central Karoo Laingsburg 129 104
Central Karoo Prince Albert 21 14

Unallocated: 2282 (2246 recovered) 

Data note: It is not always possible to check and verify that the address data supplied for each new recorded case is correct, within the time frames required to provide regular and timely updates. This means that in some instances, cases could be allocated to the wrong sub-districts. We are working with the sub-districts to clean and verify the data and where errors are picked up locally, cases will be re-allocated to the correct areas.

More data is available here: https://bit.ly/2BsfdXt 

The Western Cape has recorded an additional 18 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 3941. We send our condolences to their family and friends at this time.

Surveillance strategies for COVID-19:

Earlier, I held my weekly digicon where the Department of Health in the Western Cape revealed some of the ongoing work and studies that they are conducting to ensure that our response to COVID-19 continues to be data-led and evidence based.

We do not have reliable tools to predict the likelihood, location or timing of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the province, and ongoing surveillance remains key to ensuring that we understand emerging trends. 

One of the surveillance strategies available to us is the use of serology testing, which helps us to determine the proportion of people who have been previously infected. More detailed information on the results of this kind of testing are provided below.

One of the ways that we can explore whether there is an increase in the number of new cases in a specific area is to look at waste water testing. We have seen this kind of science being used all around the world and waste water epidemiology is not new to South Africa. The country has been conducting polio surveillance for a number of years in this way and the country has sufficient skills in this area. The Western Cape and the City of Cape Town are part of a national network of partners, which includes the NICD, which will be taking this kind of testing forward.

Using these kinds of research tools, coupled with a quick response to emerging data is critical in our ongoing management of this virus.

Seroprevalence study results:

The Western Cape Government Department of Health (WCGH) and the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) have jointly initiated routine serological (antibody) surveillance as part of the ongoing monitoring of the COVID-19 epidemic in the Province, in partnership with local academic institutions. Antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 are generally detectable two weeks after infection.

This is an anonymised sentinel surveillance program using residual clinical specimens from patients who attended health services for reasons unrelated to possible COVID-19 symptoms or diagnoses. Initially the study has included specimens from pregnant women attending antenatal care, and people living with HIV attending services for routine HIV viral load testing. The 3600 stored specimens tested to date were originally collected in late July and early August, the majority (2700) from primary care clinics in the Cape Town metropolitan area.

The testing has been conducted by the NHLS using an automated serology assay in accordance with SAHPRA approved section 21 use. The assay had been demonstrated to have high sensitivity and specificity (91,2% and 99.7% respectively) in a local validation study of individuals with known past symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection or from specimens predating the epidemic.

The results of the study revealed:

  • The SARS-CoV-2 antibody prevalence in the tested specimens from Cape Town clinics was 40%.
  • Higher seroprevalence was observed in HIV viral load (42%) compared to antenatal residual specimens (37%). 
  • Seroprevalence was higher in those from more densely populated subdistricts. 
  • It was also higher in women compared to men (33% for men with HIV compared to 45% for women with HIV).

It is anticipated that prior infection in these selected public sector patient groups is substantially higher than in the general and public sector populations as a whole, and that there will additionally be wide variation in the seroprevalence across the province. The findings nevertheless provide a broad indication of the extent of COVID-19 transmission experienced to date in large parts of the province, in keeping with the epidemic trajectory we have seen. 

Robust population surveys are planned nationally which will provide more definitive results on population seroprevalence and variability, and these are anticipated to begin in the Western Cape in the coming weeks. More detailed analyses of the sentinel serological surveillance data will be forthcoming.

Platform update:

The Western Cape continues to record declining test positivity rates, deaths and hospitalisations for COVID-19. Other indicators, such as oxygen usage, also point to a continued decline- even in the two weeks since the country moved to alert level 2.

Currently COVID-19 admissions to acute hospitals in the Cape Metro account for 9% of all hospital admissions, while oxygen usage has decline to 46% of total capacity.

We are also starting to record declines in our rural districts, with rural districts now starting to report spare critical care capacity.

All of these are very positive signs for the province, but they must not be seen as a sign that we are out of the woods. Our urgent focus must be on ensuring that we are able to fully re-open our economy so that we can save jobs and avoid a pandemic of unemployment, hunger and starvation. In order to do this, we must ensure that businesses are operating safely and that the number of infections in the Western Cape remains low.

We can do this by wearing masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing. We encourage people to go out and support businesses and the economy but we all have a personal responsibility to ensure that we go out and interact safely. 

Issued by: Western Cape Office of the Premier

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.

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