Western Cape officially enters third wave with 9,300 active Covid-19 cases

'We need new levels of vigilance — this is really urgent': premier Alan Winde

Tanya Farber Senior science reporter
People queue for Covid-19 vaccinations in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town. File photo.
People queue for Covid-19 vaccinations in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

The Western Cape has officially entered the third wave of Covid-19, says the head of health in the province Dr Keith Cloete.

He said on Thursday that deaths from Covid-19 in the province had reached about 13 per day (just more than double from a week ago), while the reproduction number in the last week has gone up to 1.4 (which means for every 10 people infected, another 14 get infected too).

“That gives you a sense of how new cases are accelerating. And it translates to a 68% increase in cases over a single week,” he said.

All districts have seen an increase, and rural districts specifically have seen a big increase: 77% over a week.

Cloete said the province now has 9,300 active cases, which is up from about 6,000 in a single week.

Premier Alan Winde said, “We are still seeing those increases every day and in the last 24 hours alone we saw 1,499 new infections. This means we need new levels of vigilance ... this is really urgent.”

He said slowing the spread was “in every single one of our hands”, and the province was focusing on readiness for the third wave.

This includes “monitoring oxygen very closely” and “making sure extra beds are available across the province”.

Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said even as managing the third wave is a priority, “we need to balance providing care for Covid patients with providing care for others who are suffering from strokes, heart attacks, mental health issues and other health problems”.

“We have entered the third wave and we are urging everyone to stick to protocols. We are hoping it will be lower than the second wave but that depends entirely on our own behaviour,” added Cloete.

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