UPDATE: Minister Fernandez calls for caution when visiting Old Age Homes
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, is calling on all residents to follow the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines upon visiting loved ones at old age homes, with the current number of positive cases in older persons facilities currently at 20 active cases in the Western Cape.
As of 4 November 2020, a total of 1695 older persons have recovered from COVID-19.
While the number of recoveries is encouraging, the provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) will continue to monitor strict health and safety protocols.
The current figures show an increase of 29 recoveries and an increase of 13 infections since DSD last provided an update on 14 October 2020.
Minister Fernandez said, “We are continuing to work closely with all old age homes in the Province, however, we also require family members, stakeholders and citizens, who are visiting their loved ones to follow the COVID-19 guidelines set out by each facility, if we are to prevent further spread of the virus across our Homes.”
Minister Fernandez added, "Our own actions can go a long way in protecting the people we deeply care about.
It is in this regard, that I am appealing to all family members visiting their loved ones, please remember to frequently wash your hands, and to wear your masks correctly each time you leave home. 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.”
In the Western Cape, there is a total of 300 old age homes of which, 117 are funded by the provincial DSD.
The Department is guided by the Older Persons Act, which ensures that the Department implements its statutory obligations by ensuring that the facilities and programmes that are available for Older Persons comply with the statute and relevant norms and standards.
DSD partners with the NPO sector, other government departments, tertiary institutions and local authorities in providing access to quality services to vulnerable Older Persons.
“I would like to thank everyone who has played a part in ensuring that our province’s old age homes receive support and assistance during this pandemic.
While only a whole-of-society approach will help us keep the infection rate low, and allow us to Stay Safe and move forward, I remain confident that we can prevent a second wave of the virus from taking place - if we work together!,” 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:
Joshua Covenant Chigome
Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 083 661 4949