Western Cape urges residents to avoid large gatherings as it enters third wave of COVID-19 pandemic

Western Cape urges residents to avoid large gatherings as it enters third wave of COVID-19 pandemic

The Western Cape is now entering the third wave of COVID-19 with sustained increases in infections over the past few weeks. The province currently has 5 800 active cases with more than 1 000 COVID-19 hospitalisations.

The government has urged members of the public to avoid large gatherings and continue to observe stipulated regulations.

After weeks of a resurgence of cases, largely driven in affluent areas, authorities say the province is now entering the third wave.

Provincial Health Department Head Dr. Keith Cloete says more than 400 cases are being recorded daily with a steep increase of active cases in the last week.

“We continue to see this increase week on week, so the big issue is, we currently have 5 800 active cases which is almost 6 000, which has increased by more than 1 400 from last week alone.  So, that is a more than 34% increase in active cases, so we announced that we are officially entering the third wave in the Western Cape, because of this acceleration over the last ten days.”

Cloete says the government is yet to get the go-ahead to use the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. He says vaccine delivery is piling up and putting pressure on the system. He says about 160 000 people have been vaccinated in the province so far in line with their targets.

“The available doses we have are actually just enough doses to titrate how many vaccines we can do per day for the following five or six working days. That’s where the supply is. It’s very tight, we have the supply and now we have to say we only have enough doses to do x amount of vaccinations.”

Provincial Health Department Head Dr. Keith Cloete and Premier Alan Winde brief the media regarding developments in the fight against coronavirus in the province:

J&J vaccines

The hold on the supply of Johnson and Johnson vaccines, pending Food and Drug Administration approval in the United States, continues hampering the speed at which the rollout can take place.

“We have built the vaccine sites and the model of getting vaccines into arms efficiently and effectively in this province. We have built it on this predictive supply line but of course, the Johnson& Johnson vaccines that are now piling up because those vaccine delivery dates are now piling up, one on top of each other, is really starting to put pressure on the system and we really do need to see an urgent outcome of the FDA in the USA on whether we can actually go ahead with the rollout of Johnson & Johnson,” says Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde.

The province says vaccination registration of people over the age of 60 is increasing daily and is approaching the 50 % mark.

Limiting travel to high-risk areas and reducing the number of people attending gatherings indoors to 50 and 100 outdoors are among the public health recommendations to curb the spread.


Source: SABC

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