Western Cape reaches peak of third Covid-19 wave

Western Cape premier Alan Winde says that the province has now reached the peak of its third wave of Covid-19 infections.

“We are beginning to see the flattening of the curve at our peak as new case infections start to plateau again,” he said in a briefing on Thursday (5 August).

“This happened after an initial plateau two weeks ago, and then a subsequent increase the week thereafter.

“This is largely explained by a disruption in testing caused by the taxi violence in the Cape Metro during that time.”

Winde said that the status of the third wave in the province is as follows:

  • The reproduction or ‘R’ number is currently 1.1 which means that for every 10 cases, an additional 11 people are infected. This means the province is not yet declining.
  • Case numbers are increasing slightly again now, after an initial plateau. This is largely explained by a delay in testing caused by transport disruptions two weeks ago, which resulted in a spike in new positive tests the week thereafter.
  • The proportion of Covid-19 positive tests remains high at an average of 41.5%.
  • Admissions to hospitals are at 339 new admissions per day. There is also a slowing down in new admissions.
  • Deaths have increased, with around 108 deaths each day. Deaths will be the last of the three main indicators to decline, following cases and then hospitalisations, Winde said.

Winde said that provincial authorities are simultaneously monitoring the number of trauma admissions to hospitals to ensure that is has enough capacity in its hospitals and that it can proactively identify any risks so that they can be addressed.

“South Africa recently shifted back to alert level 3, lifting some restrictions including a later curfew and the weekday offsite sale of alcohol. This resulted in an increase in trauma cases reporting at the hospitals we monitor across the province. While this added significant pressure, the system continues to be able to cope.

“As we approach the Women’s Day long weekend, we again urge residents to be responsible.

“Please do not drink and drive, and do not drink excessively. Please travel safely, and ensure that you do not speed. If you are travelling over a longer distance, make sure you plan your trip, and make lots of stops. Please also remember to avoid crowded places, and to ensure any meeting is short, small and outside with good ventilation.”

Nationally, South Africa reported  13,263 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday (4 August), taking the total reported to 2,484,009.

Deaths have reached 73,415, while recoveries have climbed to 2,258,603, leaving the country with a balance of 151,991 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered is 8,182,380.

Read: Warning over restrictive new ‘NHI change’ for doctors in South Africa

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Western Cape reaches peak of third Covid-19 wave