UPDATE: Covid-19 recoveries continue to increase across Old Age Homes
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, welcomes the continued increase in COVID-19 recoveries that have been reported across old age homes in the Western Cape.
The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the lives and livelihoods of people in many drastic ways. In many countries, including our own, older persons are facing high levels of risk and challenges.
Minister Fernandez said, “Although we are continuing to see an increase in Covid19 recoveries across our old age homes, we still need to be cautious and not relax the interventions being implemented for months now.”
Minister Fernandez added, “I would also like to thank everyone who has played a part in ensuring that our province’s old age homes receive the much-needed support during this pandemic.”
In the Western Cape, there is a total of 300 old age homes of which, 117 are funded by the provincial Department of Social Development.
As of the 3 August, 2020, a total 1073 older persons recovered from Covid-19, while 115 older persons were reported to be infected by the virus.
This shows an increase of 120 recoveries and a decrease of 57 infections when compared to last week since last week.
To date, the department has reprioritised funding to ensure that various services and facilities (both funded and unfunded) are equipped with the necessary resources, to prevent further spread of the COVID-19.
In response to the challenges that COVID-19 poses for old persons, the department has offered the following support to old age homes during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Protocols have been put in place between the provincial DSD and the Department of Health with regards to referrals of COVID-19 outbreaks at old age homes (NOTE: The Health department do screening and testing on-site at home with staff and residence - see link for more information Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities and Covid19).
- An additional R 1.7 million has been made available for old age homes for the management of COVID19, over and above existing allocations.
- 15 000 masks and 50 litres of sanitizers have been distributed to old age homes across the province.
- Additional relief staff are provided where and when needed.
- Specialised training for carers.
- Facilitated the deployment of volunteers to deep-clean old age homes – with a focus on homes in vulnerable communities and hotspot areas.
“I would like to encourage the public to frequently wash their hands, and to wear your masks correctly when leaving home. It is also crucial to clean all surfaces around you - whether it be at home or at work. Let’s do everything we can to ensure that we stop the further spread of the virus and protect those who are older and live with high-risk comorbidities,” concluded Minister Fernandez.
We urge the public to access credible information on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/coronavirus.
For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below: