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Winde says government should allow the State of Disaster to lapse as fourth wave subsides

Bathers taking advantage of a sunny weather at the Muizenberg Beach. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Bathers taking advantage of a sunny weather at the Muizenberg Beach. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 14, 2022

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde’s campaign calling on the national government to allow the national State of Disaster to expire has been boosted by the province’s health experts who say the fourth wave infections still appear to be subsiding.

Speaking at the weekly health digital news conference, Winde said there was a growing body of evidence which showed that Covid-19 cases had “decoupled from hospitalisations and deaths”.

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This means that a notable decrease in patients dying from Covid-19 was recorded when comparing the fourth wave with the third wave.

“Our experts have found that while there were 14% more cases than the third wave peak, new admissions are currently only at 63% of the third wave peak. Deaths also stand at only 24% of the third wave peak.”

He said this was clear evidence that Covid-19 has reached an endemic stage, and attributed this to high levels of protection among the general population as a result of vaccines and prior infection.

“It is clear we have exited the peak with infection showing a clear decline.”

Provincial head of health Dr Keith Cloete said the health department had been closely studying the seroprevalence of Covid-19 in communities and was already finding higher levels of protection against Covid-19 among the general population.

“We have fully mitigated the impact of the fourth wave, up to this point. We are preparing for recovery and to live with Covid-19 in 2022.”

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He said the biggest weapon against the virus remains vaccination, especially for those aged over 50 and the department would continue to generate increased targeted demand for unvaccinated persons and for boosters for vaccinated persons.

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said now that the Western Cape was coming out of its peak and the wave looked like it was ending, it was time to recover and to scale-up the treatment of non-Covid-19 cases.

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