Premier Alan Winde was with head of the department of health, Dr Keith Cloete. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus
Premier Alan Winde was with head of the department of health, Dr Keith Cloete. Picture: Mwangi Githahu/Cape Argus

Western Cape downplays concerns about rapidly rising Covid-19 cases

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jun 18, 2021

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde has downplayed the seriousness of a third wave of Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape which has seen the province’s active Covid-19 cases having shot up from 6 430 on Friday, to 8037 on Monday and 9 826 on Thursday.

During the regular digital press conference on the provincial health platform Premier Alan Winde said the most important thing was for citizens to adhere to the lifesaving behaviours learnt over the past year to slow the spread of Covid-19.

“I think if you look at where we are at the start of this third wave, I think the restrictions are sufficient. We all have to take this very, very seriously from a citizen responsibility point of view.

“I would actually like a lighter touch rather than a heavier one, but that all depends on whether we as citizens of the province all play our part in making sure that we slow down this virus,” said Winde during his regular digital press conference,“ said Winde.

Winde was backed up by Head of health Dr Keith Cloete who said non-adherence to the rules by not masking up and not sanitising was the biggest driver of the infections.

“It is actually quite sad that we need Alert Level 3 restrictions for people to adhere to. If we had stuck to the Level 1 restriction without someone having to police us, we would have curbed a lot of new infections.

“It’s not just about the level of restrictions, it is the adherence to the practice, which is good practice of stopping the spread.”

ANC provincial health spokesperson Rachel Windvogel said the provincial government led by Winde has consistently taken the side of the liquor industry even though one of the contributing factors to the spread of the pandemic in the Western Cape is the issue of alcohol.

“We know that our youth across all communities has binge drinking problems, yet, whenever the national government restricts the hours of trading, there’s an outcry from certain elements in this province.

Good party secretary-general Brett Herron said the president’s announcement of increased restrictions was unavoidable as lapses in adherence to the health protocols, and the slow rollout of the vaccine has led the country into a deadly third wave of a resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In his presentation to the news conference Dr Cloete said across the province case numbers were increasing rapidly and the department was currently seeing an average of 766 new diagnoses each day.

He said hospital admissions are increasing at an average of 76 new admissions per day.

“Deaths have also started to increase now with around 13 each day although the absolute numbers remain small. Overall, there is a 63% week on week increase in cases in the metro and all the sub-districts are seeing a marked increase in cases.”

Yesterday, the City tried to ramp up vaccine registrations in Atlantis. Mayor Dan Plato with Mayco member for Community Services and Health Zahid Badroodien visited the area to encourage registrations of those eligible to be vaccinated.

“The elderly are a vulnerable group identified for Phase 2 of the national vaccination rollout. It is vital that we increase awareness around the benefits of the vaccine. As a resident over 60 years of age, I was advised by healthcare staff to get the vaccine, which was a quick and easy process without experiencing any negative side effects.

“I am due to get my second dose later this month and appeal to our older residents to register to receive the vaccine so we can move closer to achieving population immunity and bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Plato.

Online registration on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) is necessary in order to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

The registrant will then receive an SMS with information on which vaccine site they should attend. A South African ID, passport or asylum seeker/refugee number must be used to register for the vaccine.

To register for the Covid-19 vaccine, visit www.westerncape.gov.za and click on the link, or dial *134*832# and follow the prompts (free on all South African networks), or WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.

If you are over 60 and registered for your Covid-19 vaccine, you can expect:

  • An SMS confirming your registration.
  • A second SMS with an appointment date and the place. For those who have already registered, this should come in next two to three weeks.
  • To get vaccinated with your first dose.
  • To be given a proof of vaccination card.
  • To be given an appointment date for your second dose (if a two-dose vaccine applies).

Cape Argus

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