The Western Cape has a backlog of about 18,000 test results from people who have been tested for the coronavirus.
Mireille Wenger, DA chief member and chairman of the Western Cape government’s ad hoc committee on Covid-19, on Tuesday asked in the national parliament that Health Minister Zweli Mkhize urgently helps to eradicate this backlog.
The province has about 65% of all positive cases in the country.
Wenger’s request comes on the same day that the national parliament’s two committees on health supervised visits to Tygerberg Hospital and the Temporary Field Hospital at the Cape Town International Conference Center to determine the readiness of the province’s facilities.
The committees will visit facilities in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Wenger also thanked Mkhize, a special delegate from the Western Cape, in the National Council of Provinces for the support his department provides to the province, as well as for their commitment to finance additional staff for the new field hospitals.
“Our biggest challenge is the backlog of tests and delays at the national laboratory services. We currently have a backlog of 18,000 tests in the Western Cape.
“We need to test health care and other workers quickly to determine if they are positive for the coronavirus. We also need faster tests to manage the identified hot spots.
“Reliable data is extremely important to combat the spread of the virus. If we can’t measure it, we can’t manage it, “Wenger said.
Mkhize said the sharp increase in positive cases in the Western Cape was due to people being lit in groups in retail stores and factories.
“Unfortunately, this is what is going to happen in different parts of the country as we relax the state of containment.”
According to him, infected people who perform essential services in food processing and medicine factories in the province were not detected and isolated early enough, and those people started infecting others in their townships, rural areas and neighborhoods.
“That’s why we see this kind of explosion in the Western Cape.
“The reality is that we have more infections in the Western Cape and that is our focus. Not on uninformed comments that some people throw around that this is the case because the province has done more tests. “
According to Mkhize, the rest of the country will end up in the same boat as the Western Cape “if we are unable to control what is happening in the Western Cape”.
Mkhize said a team of experts had already been deployed in the Western Cape to work with the provincial response team to control the pandemic.
“The subway is already divided into sub-districts. We now also have the GPS location of each infected person. We also have an idea now where every positive contact can be.
“All we have to do now is make sure that each sub-district has its own team of experts. That team will ensure that anyone who is not yet healthy is placed in isolation. ”