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WC Health Dept dismisses Mkhize claims on COVID-19 response

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize pointed out that the province had a hospital-centric strategy as well as suboptimal contact tracing, quarantine and isolation programmes.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize during a press briefing on 9 May 2020 in the Western Cape. Picture: @DrZweliMkhize/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete has dismissed claims that the province has less than optimal contact tracing, quarantine and isolation programmes to quell COVID-19.

Cloete was responding to questions from the media while at a programme to promote the use of quarantine and isolation facilities in Scottsdene on Wednesday.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has this week given reasons why he believes the Western Cape has a high number of COVID-19 cases.

Via his daily updates on Twitter, the minister pointed out that the province had a hospital-centric strategy as well as suboptimal contact tracing, quarantine and isolation programmes.

Cloete said that there were proper programmes in place.

"There are community health workers working with civil society organisations working in partnership in every corner of the Western Cape. This answers the first question which claims we don't have a sufficient response on the ground to COVID-19, which we want to dispel."

Cloete said that they were still using the National Covid-19 Epidemiological Model but were finding discrepancies between the predicted peak in July and what played out in reality now.

"So there's been fewer hospitalisations and fewer deaths cumulatively as opposed to what the model predicted, so what we're doing now is looking at that very intently."

He said that more details regarding this would be provided during the provincial government's weekly update on the COVID-19 situation.

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