Western Cape Covid-19 cases edge up as mass feeding gets under way
Western Cape Covid-19 infections rose by just 12 (2.3%) on Thursday to a total of 522.
Thirty-two patients were hospitalised, with 10 in intensive care, premier Alan Winde said in his daily bulletin.
"We have recorded 162 recoveries from Covid-19," he said. "Recovery refers to a person who has completed 14 days of isolation from the date of first symptoms, and who is now symptom free."
Winde said community screening, which began on Saturday, had reached more than 8,200 people, of whom 449 had been referred for a Covid-19 test.
"From Tuesday, screening will be significantly stepped up in line with the laboratories’ ability to process tests," he said.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the expansion of testing facilities in the Western Cape had been a "huge success, and we are planning to expand this to include more areas in rural and urban areas".
Winde gave details of how a provincial budget of R53m for food and nutritional support would be spent.
Around R20m would provide 50,000 parcels, each containing enough food to feed a family of four for a month.
The parcels would be targeted at households where a family member had tested positive for Covid-19 and was in isolation or could not afford to sustain themselves.
They would also go to poverty-stricken people with chronic illnesses, or families referred by a humanitarian relief organisation or a municipality.
"In this instance, persons not yet in receipt of Sassa grants, including the elderly, child-headed houses and grant-awaiting beneficiaries will be prioritised," said Winde.
People wishing to apply for food parcels could call 0860-142-142 or 0800-220-250), or send a "please call me" to 079-769-1207.
"Once a prospective beneficiary is confirmed as meeting the criteria, their details are sent to the NGO covering the area and the NGO delivers the parcel to the home."
Winde said four NGOs working with the province were expected to deliver the first food parcels at the weekend.
Another R5m would allow the provincial social development department to deliver 10,000 cooked meals every day for a month at one of its soup kitchens or feeding sites, in addition to the 10,000 it is already providing.
The provincial education department is receiving R18m for a school feeding programme that began on Wednesday and will continue until April 20.
Winde said on Wednesday that nearly 100,000 children were fed at 380 sites. "We expect this number to climb considerably next week, as 485,000 children receive meals at more than 1,000 schools during normal term time.
"The feeding is conducted under strict guidelines which include hygiene and social distancing protocols to keep our learners safe. The police have also partnered us to ensure that areas where feeding is occurring are patrolled."
Finally, R10m would scale up the number of beneficiaries at existing social development department feeding schemes.