Western Cape could be hit by same Covid-19 levels as Gauteng in three weeks

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The Western Cape is bracing for an increase in its Covid-19 infection rate.
The Western Cape is bracing for an increase in its Covid-19 infection rate.
Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images
  • The Western Cape could see the same levels of Covid-19 as Gauteng within about three weeks.
  • This comes after a 68% week-on-week increase in cases.
  • The reproduction rate has also increased to 1.4, which means every 10 new cases are likely to lead to 14 more cases.

The Western Cape could see the same levels of Covid-19 infections as Gauteng within about three weeks, the head of the provincial Department of Health's Dr Keith Cloete warned on Thursday.

This comes after a 68% week-on-week increase in cases in the province. The reproduction rate has also increased to 1.4, which means every 10 new cases are likely to lead to 14 more cases.

READ | SA moves to Level 3 lockdown - here are the new rules

"Case numbers are increasing rapidly now, and we are currently seeing an average of 766 new diagnoses each day," Cloete said during the weekly digital conference update on Covid-19.

There is an average of 76 admissions a day, and 13 deaths a day.

Covid-19

Cloete said data modellers were working on the possible duration of the third wave and it would likely be a long one.

Weeks

"We are roughly working on the rule of thumb of six to eight weeks," Cloete said.

Cloete said the numbers would take at least four to five weeks to come down after that, stressing that this was only an estimation.

READ | Covid-19: More than 3 800 people hospitalised in Gauteng

The number of vaccinations in the province had not yet reached the target of 120 000 people a week after the destruction of millions of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses due to contamination at a factory in the US.

Within a week, there could be news about when South Africa's new batch will be ready.

In the meantime, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine was still being used.

The reinfection rate in the Western Cape is currently around 1% – at about 3 000 cases.

READ | J&J will deliver 2 million new jabs to SA within 2 weeks, says Aspen

Cloete said the EFF's suggestion that vaccines developed in Russia and China be used to speed up vaccinations depended entirely on whether the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority gave them emergency use status.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde urged continued adherence to mask wearing, sanitising and social distancing to keep the number of infections in the next wave low.

In the meantime, work continues on mass vaccination sites, with a drive-through site being considered for Athlone.

The mass vaccination site at the Cape Town International Convention Centre is due to open on 1 July.

On Wednesday, South Africa recorded the highest number of daily positive Covid-19 cases since January, with 13 246 cases recorded.

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