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Source: South Africa News Agency

The Western Cape has activated its Outbreak Response team in association with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).

The activation follows confirmation by the national Health Department of the first Coronavirus patient in the Western Cape on Wednesday.  

The patient is a 36-year-old male in the City of Cape Town. He presented himself to a private healthcare facility with flu-like symptoms and a recent travel history to Europe.

Six new cases were confirmed in South Africa on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 13.

The Outbreak Response team is set to trace the travel history, movements and contacts of the person to ensure containment.

“Contacts, including those on the flight, will be followed up and monitored for the next two weeks, as per the World Health Organisation guidelines. The travel history and movements of the person will be traced in order to ensure containment,” said Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.

As per set procedures, the 36-year-old patient was kept in isolation for the last 48 hours since 9 March 2020 until the laboratory confirmed tests.

“Earlier this week, I activated the Joint Operations Centre (JOC) to ensure our preparedness to respond to the Coronavirus and five work-streams have been established to ensure a coordinated response. I have convened a Special Cabinet on Friday where we will receive a report back on their work,” said the Premier.

Winde urged Western Cape residents to play their part in limiting the spread of the virus.

Firstly, he called on residents to stay calm and follow the direction of the NICD, regarding testing and, if necessary, isolation.

“They are following international best-practise and have you, and your fellow residents, best interest at heart.

“Secondly, if you have flu-like symptoms and have travelled internationally or have been in contact with someone who has travelled internationally, you should call the dedicated Coronavrius Hotline, operated by the NICD, on 0800 029 999,” said Winde.  

Thirdly, Winde reiterated practising good hygiene, such as washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the corner of your arm.

“Lastly, please don’t spreads fake news. We really need to verify all information first.

Spreading panic will only make responding more difficult. It is important to highlight that in the majority cases the virus presents mildly and there is a significantly high recovery rate. 

“It is important that we go on with our daily lives while following these basic steps. I promise you that I will keep you updated on all developments,” said the Premier.

For more information on basic good hygiene practises, residents can visit the provincial government’s dedicated webpage: www.westerncape.gov.za/coronavirus.

Additionally, the following official channels contain important information and can be contacted:

– SAnews.gov.za

MIL OSI Africa