First Covid-19 deaths: We mourn as a province and country – Western Cape premier Alan Winde

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde expressed his grief on Friday morning at the news that two South Africans died of Covid-19 in the province – the first deaths in the country as a result of the pandemic.

A 28-year-old woman and 48-year-old woman died of the novel coronavirus on Friday morning, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize announced.

According to Winde, the 48-year-old woman’s condition worsened while in intensive care, while the 28-year-old was admitted to hospital on Thursday and received emergency healthcare.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde

“A few short months ago, the world learnt of a virus that was spreading rapidly through the province of one country, leaving little in its wake but chaos and mourning,” Winde said in a statement. 

“Since then, we have seen this virus get its own name – Covid-19 – and we have seen it spread from village to village, town to town and country to country. And while we have learnt that many experience only mild symptoms, some none at all, for others, the effect has been severe, and the world has lost many lives.”

We mourn as a province and as a country

“South Africa, and the Western Cape, have not been spared. On the 11 March, Covid-19 arrived in our province. [On Friday], we woke up to the sad news that we, too, have seen our first casualties,” Winde said. 

The premier said the clinical picture was consistent with Covid-19 but that he was awaiting the test results to confirm this. 

“We mourn this loss as a province and as a country. Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the deceased.

“I would like to ask all our residents to join me in a moment of silence at midday [on Friday], as we mark the loss, and celebrate their lives.”

‘Stay at home’

“As we all strive to stop its spread, by each making the decision to stay at home until it becomes absolutely necessary to pop out for absolute essentials, let’s have in our minds the lives we will each save if we all work together,” Winde said. 

“We are staying home for ourselves, our family and friends, our grandmas and grandpas, for the healthcare workers who are facing this virus head on and need our help to flatten the curve, and for our fellow men and women across South Africa.┬áIt is up to each of us. Together, let’s stop the spread.”