Min Fernandez welcomes the increase in Covid-19 recoveries across Old Age Home
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez, welcomes the 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, “I am pleased that our department can report an increase in the numbers of persons that have recovered from Covid-19 who reside within old age homes across the province. Officials from the provincial Department of Social Development in collaboration with the provincial Department of Health have been working tirelessly around the clock to provide support for the prevention and management of Covid-19 within both funded and unfunded old age homes across the province.”
Minister Fernandez added, “Although we have witnessed an increase in recoveries amongst this vulnerable grouping, we must continue with the interventions that we have introduced across old age homes during the covid19 pandemic so that we do not experience an outburst from taking place within these homes again.”
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 27th of July, 2020, a total of 953 older persons recovered from Covid-19, while 172 older persons were reported to be infected with the virus.
As of the 17th of July, 2020, a total of 700 older persons recovered from Covid-19, while 334 older persons were reported to be infected with the virus.
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 1.755 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.
Minister Fernandez said, “ We are still looking for further support in our effort to help those who are vulnerable across our communities. If you are able to donate any Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) or offer other support, please contact email@example.com.”
“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: