Premier Alan Winde said he was overwhelmed with gratitude towards Western Cape residents and its healthcare workers, as the data showed a decline in the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
He expressed his gratitude after the Western Cape cabinet received its weekly update on the Covid-19 situation on Wednesday.
Winde said after looking at the data, he was grateful for everything residents and healthcare workers had done to save lives and ensure a sustained decline of the second wave.
All the key Covid-19 indicators have shown significant downward trends.
- The seven day average for new infections has shown a 44% decline and we now stand at 11 570 active cases, compared with 44 303 active cases on January 11.
- The R number, or the reproductive rate of the virus, has fallen below 1 in the province and now stands at 0.5.
- The test positivity rate, an important measure, has declined from 50.1% at the 2nd peak to 13.9% at the end of January.
- Over the past seven days, the province has seen a 42% decline in admissions to hospital.
- A total of 2 330 people are currently hospitalized in the province, after a high of 3 528 on January 13.
- Hospitals in the metro currently stand at 79% occupancy, 59% in George, 71% in Paarl, and 63% in Worcester, against a high of 105% in the metro, 90% in George, 93% in Paarl, and 87% in Worcester on December 22.
- There are 447 patients in ICU and high care across public and private healthcare, down from 534 on January 18.
- Total oxygen use in the province has dropped to 67 tonnes, of which approximately 30 tonnes are being used in the public sector, compared to a peak of 80 tonnes per day reached early in January. This now brings us back under the 70 tonne threshold.
- There are 82 patients in the Brackengate Hospital of Hope, compared to around 300 at the peak. At the Mitchell’s Plain Hospital of Hope, 61 of the 200 beds are occupied.
- At the height of the 2nd wave, 1 029 healthcare workers were infected with Covid-19. This number now stands at 267 and is dropping daily.
- The number of deaths has fallen by 31% over the past seven days.
Winde said: “The second wave we experienced in the Western Cape was severe – surpassing the peak of the first wave – primarily driven by the new, highly transmissible variant of the virus. This caused enormous pressure on health platforms during this time.
“The Western Cape government and our partners have worked hard to provide the resources – beds, staff, and oxygen needed to ensure that we could manage the peak of the second wave. We did not run out of any of these crucial life-saving resources.”
He added this could not have been done without Western Cape residents and the brave healthcare workers.
“Every single person has contributed to these reductions and we can all be very proud.“
The premier said while the province would soon start rolling out the first batches of vaccines, it would take time for the province to vaccinate enough people to achieve herd immunity.
“In the meantime, we should all continue to be cautious – wear your mask, keep up good hand and surface hygiene and avoid close contact with others. We have lived with this pandemic for almost a year and every single one of our lives have changed.
“We must continue to do everything we can to achieve the balance we need to protect ourselves and our loved ones, while also ensuring that people are able to return to work and school, to earn a living, and to access healthcare and other government services.”
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