W Cape health says 5th wave nothing to panic about yet

A coronavirus testing centre in Tygerberg. Photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

A coronavirus testing centre in Tygerberg. Photo: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Published May 12, 2022


WHILE the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness is gearing up to combat the 5th wave of Covid-19 infections, the department said only 8% of hospital admissions are those affected with the virus.

This comes after the country recorded 10 017 new cases on Wednesday, of which 1 749 were in the Western Cape - the third highest figure after Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal.

The department said even though the province is in a resurgence, its oxygen use and daily deaths, key indicators, remain low.

“Our Covid-19 bed occupancy rate currently makes up only 8% of all the available acute general hospital capacity,” department’s spokesperson Mark van der Heerver told Weekend Argus.

Van der Heerver said while the department was trying to gauge the magnitude of the 5th wave it was important for people to get inoculated.

"The only way to mitigate the impact of the current resurgence is to get vaccinated or boosted,“ he said.

“Especially if you are at higher risk of severe disease. Those vulnerable groups are also encouraged to get their flu vaccine.”

Common practice throughout the pandemic, has been predicting when and how a particular wave will happen.

“The severity of the impact of this wave is also not clear just yet,” he said.

“What we do know is that vaccination, along with natural immunity, provides us with greater protection.

“Residents can keep (safe) by continue to adhering to life saving preventative measures such as most importantly getting vaccinated, wearing masks when in crowded indoor spaces and ensuring good ventilation when indoors.”

Premier Alan Winde previously shared the province’s plan of action to limit the impact of the fifth wave of Covid-19 infections with Weekend Argus.

In the plan’s worst-case scenario schools will be closed and stricter regulations imposed if 2 800 or more coronavirus patients are in hospital and 80% or more in high care.

But Winde said the fourth wave did not even trigger level one of the action plan, when 10% of hospital beds in the province were occupied by Covid-19 patients and the oxygen use increases with 50%.

Weekend Argus.