Covid-19: Western Cape officially enters a resurgence

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  • The Western Cape has officially entered a Covid-19 resurgence.
  • The province has 16 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but the number is likely much higher, health officials say.
  • The number of new infections is higher than anticipated, and will likely continue to climb.

The Western Cape has entered a Covid-19 resurgence after increased infections.

"The week-on-week percent change in the seven-day moving average of new cases has been more than 20% for more than a week, indicating that we have officially entered a resurgence," said Western Cape health department head Dr Keith Cloete in a digital briefing on Thursday.

"Although case numbers remain relatively low, the steep increase is concerning, and we advise caution as we await more details of the impact of Omicron (the new variant of the coronavirus)," he said.

Hospital admissions are showing signs of an early increase, with 11 admissions per day.

READ | No cruise ship cheer for Cape Town tourism amid Omicron alarm

"We are now seeing a clear increase in the number of daily new cases, on average 200 new diagnoses per day. The proportion positive has increased to an average of 8.2%," said Cloete.

The numbers were currently higher than initially predicted, Cloete added, and were likely to continue climbing.

Dr Keith Cloete
Western Cape health department head Dr Keith Cloete says the province has officially entered a Covid-19 resurgence.(Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

"Actual cases are higher than expected for the last week although numbers are still relatively low. A very large increase in absolute numbers is expected for the coming weeks," said Cloete.

He added that the spike in cases was likely driven by the Omicron variant. The variant is circulating in the Western Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.

The Western Cape has recorded 16 confirmed Omicron cases in the last two weeks. However, based on a proxy marker in PCR tests, the Omicron variant could be prevalent in as much as 80% of the new cases in the last week, Cloete said.

Based on increased cases in Gauteng, there is no evidence that the new variant causes more severe disease, added Cloete.


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