Cape Town - With 45 people currently in the intensive care unit and 1600 new cases per day, the Western Cape Health Department together with the Minister of Health have confirmed the province has officially entered the fourth wave.
The Department said with 1 600 cases per day, they had not seen an increase in hospitalisation compared to the previous waves but that they were monitoring the current trend.
Since Sunday, there have been 439 admissions at private and public health facilities, with 45 people in intensive care.
The Western Cape Health Department said in a joint statement with Premier Alan Winde: “The Western Cape has officially entered the Fourth Wave of Covid-19 infections in terms of the technical definition provided by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).
“Using this definition, we will be in the Fourth Wave when the number of new Covid-19 cases reaches 30% of the peak of the previous wave, based on a 7-day moving average. This would be approximately 1 100 new cases daily.
“The current 7-day moving average of new daily cases increased to approximately 1600 cases per day and is expected to increase.
“As set out in our Covid-19 healthcare platform and vaccination programme update last week, the Western Cape is not yet seeing the same rapid increases in hospitalisations and deaths as previous waves, although it is still too early to tell if this trend will continue over the next few weeks.
“As of 3 pm Sunday, the number of Covid-19 hospitalisations across private and public hospitals were at 439, with a total of 45 persons admitted to ICU and high care.
“The Western Cape Department of Health is closely monitoring the data and will provide more information as soon as possible.”
Premier Winde said this was the time people should feel encouraged to receive the vaccine, and by doing so, both lives and jobs could be saved.
“While it is always scary to hear we are facing another wave of Covid-19 cases, we must remain calm and turn our anxiety into action. We can do this by following four steps: vaccinate as soon as possible because vaccinations prevent severe illness. Ensure you wear your mask because the virus spreads in the air.
“Also, ensure good ventilation with lots of fresh air, and if you are meeting others, do it outside. This is much easier in our summer months.
“Together with the golden rules of good hygiene, including staying home when you feel sick, we can slow the spread and save lives and jobs in the Western Cape.”
Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said they were using a response plan in reaction to the wave: “The Western Cape has adopted a six-point action plan to ensure that we can respond to this Fourth Wave.
“Using data and lessons from previous waves, we will use a trigger response to bring online the resources needed to care for every person who needs treatment. But we need to protect our healthcare system, especially so we do not have to de-escalate other life-saving services. The best way to do this is to vaccinate because vaccinations prevent severe illness. It will keep you out of the hospital and out of the ICU.
The NICD also provided the latest figures for the respective provinces last night: “The majority of new cases today are from Gauteng (42%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (16%). Western Cape accounted for 13%; Eastern Cape and Free State each accounted for 6%; Mpumalanga and North West each accounted for 5%; Limpopo accounted for 4%; and Northern Cape accounted for 2% of today’s new cases.”
Meanwhile, the Presidency has confirmed that President Cyril Ramaphosa has tested positive for Covid-19 and is doing well with mild symptoms.
Minister in the Presidency, The Honourable Mondli Gungubele, said: “President Cyril Ramaphosa is receiving treatment for mild Covid-19 symptoms after testing positive for the viral infection today, Sunday, December 12 2021.
“The President started feeling unwell after leaving the State Memorial Service in honour of former Deputy President FW de Klerk in Cape Town earlier today. The President is in good spirits but is being monitored by the South African Military Health Service of the South African National Defence Force. The President, who is fully vaccinated, is in self-isolation in Cape Town and has delegated all responsibilities to Deputy President David Mabuza for the next week. On his recent visit to four West African states, President Ramaphosa and the South African delegation were tested for Covid-19 in all countries.”