Dr Keith Cloete is Head of Health in the Western Cape government. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Dr Keith Cloete is Head of Health in the Western Cape government. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Modelling Consortium optimistic about a ’smaller third wave’ of Covid-19

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published May 28, 2021

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Cape Town - While there is still uncertainty, a smaller third wave is predicted, according to the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium analysis.

“We have not yet met the criteria for being in a third wave, but remain at risk as the number of active cases is much greater than a few weeks ago,’’ provincial Health head Dr Keith Cloete said.

’’The big recommendation from the consortium is that if the behaviour response is strong and quick, we can reduce the number of admissions and deaths in the province. It’s very much through behaviour that we can delay the third wave and reduce the peak of the third wave,” added Cloete.

Cloete added that it was important that the third wave was delayed and smaller, to not interrupt the rapid scale that is required for the vaccine programme in the nation’s goal of achieving herd immunity.

Hospital admissions have been increasing slowly, with 35 new cases per day, while deaths remain stable, at around four each day.

“The resurgence monitor shows that we continue to see a week-on-week percentage increase in new cases, although the size of the percentage increase has dropped,” said Cloete.

Currently there are 795 Covid-19 patients in acute hospitals, with 420 in public hospitals and 375 in private hospitals.

Meanwhile, Premier Alan Winde said the Western Cape had increased the number of vaccines administered this week to an average of 6 000 vaccinations per day.

As at 5pm on Wednesday, a total of 123 153 vaccinations had been administered.

“Yesterday we exceeded this target, vaccinating over 8 000 people. So far, we have vaccinated nearly 30 000 people with the Pfizer vaccine, under Phase 1b and 2, which kicked off on May 17. This programme will be ramped up further, with up to 12 000 vaccines being administered every day next week, starting on May 31, 2021, and 24 000 vaccines being administered every day the following week, starting on June 7, 2021,” said Winde.

He said the Pfizer vaccine supply was projected to reach 118 280 this week.

“We are also still awaiting clarity on the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines from the plant in Gqeberha. We expect their arrival next week, which will increase our supply by more than 260 000 vaccines,” said Winde.

Next week, starting on May 31, the number of public sector vaccination sites will increase by another 49 sites, mostly in rural districts outside of Cape Town, bringing the number of vaccination sites to over 100.

As at 1pm on May 27, the Western Cape recorded 3 592 active Covid-19 infections, with a total number of 293 013 Covid-19 cases to date, and 277 632 recoveries.

The province also recorded 15 additional deaths since Wednesday, bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in the province to 11 789.

Cape Times

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