THE ongoing fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic may have already reached its peak in the Western Cape as infections begin to wane, said Premier Alan Winde.
“I actually think we are past the peak of the fifth wave,” Winde told Weekend Argus yesterday evening.
“I will only be more certain in this week coming,” he said adding that more clarity would then be provided to the public.
Unlike its predecessors, the fifth wave has not overwhelmed the province’s healthcare system.
According to Winde the province had a tight grip on the fifth wave. “We showed this in the last wave that we were totally prepared,” he said.
“We are already seeing decreases in cases in most regions of the province. Week on week it’s about an 11% decrease. And the R rate is below 1 and hospitalisation and deaths are down. Deaths are tracking below predicted upper bound,” he said.
Winde said the province’s quest for a pandemic free environment does not stop here. “People still need to wear their masks indoors, get vaccinated and adhere to the remaining prescribed measures.”
The Western Cape has administered more than 5 million vaccinations.
Vaccinations for 60 years old and older are at 71.4% and 50 to 60 year olds at 62.4%.
“Citizens must keep being responsible and we can all now focus on jobs and the economic recovery.”
The Western Cape had a four-point-plan in place to limit the impact of the fifth wave.
In accordance to this plan’s worst-case scenario, schools in the Western Cape would’ve closed and stricter regulations imposed if 2 800 or more coronavirus patients were in hospital and 80% or more in high care.
“The fifth wave, up until now, have not even triggered the first point of the plan, just like the fourth wave,” Winde said.
Only 4% of people diagnosed with Covid-19 are hospitalised.
The province’s field hospitals have some patients.
“Brackengate hospitals has 34 patients, Mitchells Plain zero, Sonstraal five, Freesia 99 and Harry Comay hospitals are all zero as well,” Winde said.
“Hospital admissions are low and similar between wave numbers.”
The wave is not combated and there are several parts of the country that are yet to find their peak, according to Dr Angelique Coetzee from the Solidarity Doctors Forum advisory board.
“There’s still a surge in certain parts of the country, so it’s imperative to stay wary,” Coetzee said.
Winde said he is proud of what his team had achieved.
“I am very proud of this health team in the province,” he said.
“Minister (Nomafrench) Mbombo and Dr (Keith) Cloete and team have done us all proud over the last two years.”