CAPE TOWN - Ahead of a potential fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, officials are urging residents to adhere to protective behaviours to contain the spread of Covid-19 over the coming weeks and months.
This while vaccine hesitancy remains a challenge.
“The province will need to increase weekly throughput to at least 235 000 vaccines administered per week to reach the targets that have been set for mid-December. Sufficient capacity is available for this but there is urgent need for concerted demand creation and social mobilisation effort,” provincial head of health, Dr Keith Cloete said.
Premier Alan Winde said Covid-19 cases in hospital were very low but they were keeping field hospitals, staff and oxygen in place to mitigate risk when it comes to the potential fourth wave.
“The probability that hospital indicators will be met with high vaccine coverage and high levels of prior infection is expected to be very low, but South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) fourth wave scenarios will inform our preparation for the fourth wave. We expect to have clear modelling predications within the next two weeks towards the fourth wave.”
Case numbers continue on a downward trend, with an average of around 52 new diagnoses, 15 new admissions and two deaths each day, Cloete said but despite this, Khayelitsha was still showing a slight increase in cases.
“Overall, there is a 30% week on week decrease in cases in the Metro. Only Khayelitsha showing a small percent increase in week on week cases, but low absolute numbers of cases,” added Cloete.
“A similar decrease in case numbers is being seen in the rural districts as well. There are percentage increase in the Central Karoo, but also with very low absolute case numbers.”
The Delta variant remains overwhelmingly dominant globally and in South Africa, officials added.
As at November 8, there are currently 1 950 316 or 39% of over 18s who are fully vaccinated while 2 599 389 people are unvaccinated.
The officials said the national health department were issuing R100 grocery vouchers to those 60+ years old who receive their first vaccine dose from November 1, 2021. Vouchers will be issued on a first come first serve basis until the initial 26 000 vouchers have been issued across the country.
As at 1pm on Tuesday, there were 809 active cases bringing the overall total to 523 569.