Winde concerned by rise in new Covid-19 infections in Cape Town metro
Cape Town – Western Cape Premier Alan Winde is concerned that there has been a slight uptick in new Covid-19 infections – in the Cape Town Metro in particular
However, he said in a statement on Thursday this has largely been driven by increases in private sector testing in the Northern, Southern and Western sub-districts, but they are continuing to monitor and track these trends closely.
’’At this stage, the data does not point to signs of clusters of infections, but with the long Easter weekend and school holidays coming up, we must remain hyper vigilant to ensure that clusters and super-spreader events do not occur.’’
The Western Cape has recorded six additional deaths, bringing the total number of Covid-19-related deaths in the province to 11 464.
While ever alert to delay a possible third wave, Winde said hospital admissions and deaths continue to decline, with 22% and 62% decreases respectively over the past week.
’’Our wastewater data continues to show decreased or low levels of SARS CoV-2 in our treatment plants,’’ he said.
’’A total of 824 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalised in the province, and hospitalisations for Covid-19 continue to decline.
’’Covid-19 hospital occupancy is currently at 10% in the Metro, 15% in the George drainage area, 22% in Paarl and 21% in Worcester.
’’Our Hospital of Hope at Brackengate currently has 13 patients admitted. In Mitchell’s Plain, there are 2 patients admitted in Freesia and Ward 99.
’’The Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope and Sonstraal Hospital in Paarl do not currently have patients in them. The Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope will now begin admitting non-Covid patients. The infrastructure will remain in place to be reactivated should a third wave necessitate this.
Almost 50 000 healthcare workers in the province have so far been vaccinated with the J&J vaccine as part of the Sisonke implementation study.
’’We anticipate that we will be able to cover 50% of the province’s healthcare workers with the doses being received through this study,’’ Winde said.
’’The province is also at an advanced planning stage for the rollout of phase 2, which is targeted to begin in May. During this phase, we will scale up dramatically as we anticipate vaccinating 30 000 to 40 000 people per day, at a mixture of sites which range from extra-large sites at major hospitals to outreach sites in small communities.
’’The aim is to vaccinate as many high-risk individuals as possible before a potential third wave arrives in the province. This will reduce the number of hospitalisations and deaths in any subsequent wave.’’
Winde has also appealed to countries who bought more vaccines than they can use to send them to South Africa. The provincial government has already sent out letters to 28 companies as it works towards securing its own stocks.
"If you have excess, we are very interested," said Winde during his weekly digicon on the pandemic on Thursday.