First patients admitted to special Covid-19 field hospital in Cape Town
The first patients have been admitted to a special Covid-19 field hospital in the Western Cape, the province announced on Monday.
The province also announced an additional 24 Covid-19 related deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 798*.
"We send our condolences to the families and loved ones of the deceased at this time," the Western Cape government said in a statement.
The province currently has 12,149 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 32,048 confirmed cases and 19,101 recoveries.
Cape Town's field hospital - called the Hospital of Hope - admitted its first patient on Monday: a 75-year-old man from Mitchells Plain.
Ten more patients were admitted at the temporary facility later on Monday afternoon.
"The 75-year-old man was the oldest patient, while the youngest is a 31-year-old man from Philippi. The other patients are from Gugulethu, Crossroads, Portland, Lentegeur, Searidge Park, Mandalay, Samora Machel and Rocklands," said the provincial government.
It said it was taking "extra" steps to assist vulnerable people during the coronavirus pandemic.
"The department of social development in the province is providing additional support to old age homes to help fight Covid-19.
"This support includes testing and screening, and specialised training in infection prevention. An additional R1.8m in funding has also been allocated ... We have also made 1,500 masks available to homes across the province and provided 5,000 face shields to over 100 homes."
The provincial government said its health department had also prioritised healthcare workers, the elderly and chronic patients for the flu vaccine to ensure that their immune systems were not further compromised by contracting the flu.
"Our risk-adjusted testing strategy also ensures that while the testing backlog persists, tests should be reserved for those who are experiencing symptoms and who need tests most: healthcare workers, people in hospital, those over the age of 55, and those with co-morbidities."
* The Western Cape's figures are collated at 1pm daily, while the national health ministry's figures are recorded later in the day.