Premier Alan Winde on Thursday has urged Western Cape residents to be responsible this weekend as Covid-19 cases remain high in the province and public health facilities are under pressure.
Winde said while the province was continuing to see a plateauing of new Covid-19 infections below the peak of the second wave, the Western Cape was still seeing an increase in hospitalisations and deaths province-wide
“Due to higher cases than expected last week, the probability prediction by the NICD [National Institute for Communicable Diseases] that the Western Cape has passed the peak has decreased from 73% last week to 42% this week.
“This means that we are likely nearing a peak of the third wave but have not yet reached it. We must continue to be vigilant,” the premier said in a statement.
The Western Cape has been recording an average of 2,439 new diagnoses each day, with approximately 307 new hospital admissions per day.
Winde said the province was on high alert to prevent trauma-related cases that could burden health facilities, after the ban on alcohol sales was lifted by President Cyril Ramaphosa when he moved the country to alert level 3 lockdown.
He said this meant that there was an even greater responsibility on residents to ensure that they protect the province’s critical-care capacity by being responsible and observing Covid-19 health protocols.
“I have further requested that the provincial minister of community safety, Albert Fritz, ensure that the Saps [South African Police Service], other law-enforcement agencies, as well the Western Cape Liquor Authority are on high alert to prevent trauma in our communities this weekend when there is usually an increase in alcohol-related harms.”
The premier said the provincial healthcare system was prepared to respond to the Covid-related demand.
There were currently 3,433 Covid patients in the province’s acute hospitals, 1,805 in public hospitals and 1,638 in private hospitals.
“We have revised our response for the third wave, with clearly identified trigger points for an appropriate healthcare response. We have done so to ensure that, at all times, our healthcare platform can respond with the necessary agility to save lives,” Winde said.
On the vaccination front, Winde said over one million vaccines had been administered in the province.
A total of 359,282 people had already been fully vaccinated.
“In the first three days of this week alone, we have administered approximately 96,000 vaccines, and we expect to reach 150,000 vaccinations by the end of the week, albeit under vaccine availability pressures.”
Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe