Western Cape to enter fourth Covid-19 wave by next week, predicts SACMC

The Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, with the Head of the province’s health department, Dr Keith Cloete, hosted a digital press conference providing an update on the health platform and vaccination programmes on going in the province.

“We are starting to see that while COVID-19 infections are still increasing, the rate of increase is slowing. We must remain vigilant and prevent the spread of the virus through the lifesaving behaviours we have learned throughout the pandemic,” said Winde, in a media statement released after the conference on Wednesday.

The head of the Western Cape’s health department, Dr Keith Cloete, noted that about 1500 positive Covid-19 cases have been recorded among healthcare workers in December. He added that this expected to increase throughout the remainder of the month — which may add strain to healthcare facilities. Courtesy: Unsplash 

Cloete noted that there is not a need to activate the triggered response system yet, as oxygen use in health facilities has not increased, but has noted that the number of trauma cases has increased. The triggered response system, implemented at last week’s conference, was put in place to manage hospitals capacity of Covid-19 patients.

“In that period of time [1 October to 19 December 2021], at 20 emergency centers, almost 30 000 cases of trauma presented,” said Cloete.  “The biggest proportion of that is interpersonal violence.”  

The South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) predicts that the Western Cape will experience the peak of the fourth wave by next week, based on the Gauteng experience.

The health department head said that it is still early to draw conclusions on the Omicron variant, but noted that the variant is spreading faster because it is infecting people who were previously infected.

While 46% of the Western Cape’s adult population has vaccinated, he added that vaccination uptake has dropped in the past week. Further to this, Cloete commended the Overberg region for its high levels of vaccination uptake, particularly among those aged 50 and above.  


Done By: Caitlin Maledo