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Total Number Of COVID-19 Confirmed Cases In North West Is 314

The total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in the North West Province as of Wednesday, 03 June 2020 is 314, an increase of 44 from previously reported cases. There are 59 recoveries and still remain with one death.

A total of 74 confirmed cases which were previously allocated to Gauteng have since been reallocated to the Province after data harmonization and verification of addresses. Majority of these cases are mine related in Rustenburg.

The new 44 cases are spread as follows:

Matlosana – 16

Rustenburg – 15

Madibeng – 5

JB Marks – 2

Mahikeng – 2

Tswaing – 1

Unallocated – 3

The Bojanala District has the highest cases at 186 with 33 recoveries and 1 death. Dr Kenneth Kaunda follows at 99 with 20 recoveries. Ngaka Modiri Molema now has 19 cases with 5 recovered while Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati has 5 cases and 1 has recovered.

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We have now screened just over 3 million people (actual number 3,025,199). This is good progress considering the total population of North West now stands at just below 4 million (3,961,698) people. Those referred for testing are 2 636. Mass screening and contact tracing remains key to prevention of rapids infections and all districts are above 90 percent contact tracing and all suspected cases are referred for testing.

North-West Province COVID-19 laboratory confirmed cases contributes <1% to South Africa’s burden of cases. Bojanala remains the epicenter followed by Dr Kenneth Kaunda. This is because the majority of the active cases are in Bojanala Platinum district (60%; 153/255) followed by Dr. Kenneth Kaunda district (31%; 79/255). Of the total confirmed cases, 38 % (120/314) are linked to clusters of cases in the mines in Bojanala Platinum (79%; 95/120), Dr. Kenneth Kaunda (19%; 23/120) and Ngaka Modiri Molema (2%; 2/120).

The increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases in mines is a concern to the Province and MEC Madoda Sambatha has been visiting mining houses in the Province to assess level of compliance with lockdown regulations.

The mines have become hotspots for coronavirus in the Province and more effort is needed to curb the disease from spreading to mining communities.

Miners should be screened before they could start work and those who come from hotspot provinces like Western Cape, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape should be screened and tested before they could start work.

Mining companies have been urged to make sure that mine workers who test positive and their contacts are isolated at quarantine sites approved by Government. Mines that were lagging behind in terms of compliance and case management have been ordered to work with district health chief directors to ensure compliance.

A lot has been achieved during lockdown level 4 and 5. Treatment protocols have been developed for a coherent response in the screening, testing and treatment of suspected as well as confirmed cases. The Province has increased bed availability through partnerships with private sector and mining companies. We have also ensured availability of medicines required to treat the complications of COVID-19 (analgesic, antipyretics, antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anticoagulants, Zinc Sulphate, Vitamin C).

Level 5 restrictions gave the Province time to start to prepare for a possible surge in cases. The hospital capacity in the province has been enhanced by collaboration between the public and private health as well as the mining sectors. The Department will continue to enhance the capacity of hospitals to ensure that services can be rendered should the need arise. We are currently now planning a field hospital for additional beds.

We are also in the process of obtaining the required equipment especially more oxygen points and more ventilators. The availability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been stabilised and measures are in place for continual procurement.

The forensic services and mortuary services capacity has also received attention. To this effect, today the Deputy Minister is officially opening a forensic pathology mortuary at Brits Hospital in Madibeng. This is part of the Province’s infrastructure preparedness. The new forensic pathology mortuary has body storage capacity of 11 and 40 shelves for decomposed bodies. The hospitals have arrangement with private mortuaries for additional capacity. There is also a provincial SOP that directs management of human remains of COVID-19.

We have ensured that our staff wellness is taken care of and this is an area that we will continue to improve on. This has been a key priority for the Department and measures have been taken to ensure the availability of PPE, psycho-social support and vaccination of front line workers. Under Level 5, administrative and support staff were rostered to facilitate physical distancing. The Department has rolled out an extensive training program in the prevention and management of COVID-19 for its employees as well as the private sector. This continued under Level 4 as more information on the diseases becomes available and the pandemic evolves.

In terms of quarantine facilities, we have 397 active beds in Bojanala, 126 in Dr Kenneth Kaunda, 137 in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati and 81 in Ngaka Modiri Molema. This translate into 7 facilities for Bojanala, 6 for Dr Kenneth Kaunda, 7 for Ngaka Modiri Molema and 4 at Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati.

We have adequate quarantine facility beds in the mines, both in Bojanala and Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

The Province is prepared for level 3 lockdown. Hotspots have been identified across the Province and plans for intervention will be implemented.

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