Media release by Premier Winde’s update on COVID-19 and vaccinations | Western Cape Government

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Media release by Premier Winde’s update on COVID-19 and vaccinations

15 October 2021

“Vaccination is quick, easy and free. If you have been too busy to go, please don’t worry about registering beforehand. You can just walk in at any of our sites.”

There are still many residents, who have decided to get vaccinated but haven’t yet been able to find the time to go to one of our vaccination sites. 

I would like to encourage you to go as soon as you can. It really has never been quicker, or easier. You will likely be done in 30 minutes at many sites, including the 15 minutes observation time.

You also do not need to pre-register. You simply need to walk-in, whenever you can, and we will help register you at the site.

“Data, analysed by healthcare experts, clearly shows that vaccination prevents severe illness and death”

In reviewing the Western Cape’s response to the third wave, the Provincial Department of Health found that among those who are 50 years and older, the risk of death was 7.5 times higher than those in younger groups. In fact, 83% of all deaths during the third wave were in this 50+ age group.

On the other hand, this data analysis also found that a fully vaccinated person was 4.3 times less likely to die than an unvaccinated person.

In an analysis of deaths between 21 August and 4 September, around the time of the peak of the third wave in our province, our data shows that 96.6% of people who died in the 50+ age bracket were not fully vaccinated.

That is why our healthcare professionals, in hospitals across the province, strongly recommend vaccination, and especially for those residents over 50 years old. Vaccines save lives.

“We are making it easier to vaccinate, for those who want to, through more pop-up and satellite vaccination sites”

To ensure that no person is left behind in our vaccine rollout, we are increasingly using pop-ups and satellite vaccination sites. This will ensure that we boost our vaccine numbers by bringing vaccines closer to people.

To achieve this, we are focussing on areas with low vaccine uptake and are increasing outreach services. While doing so, we will also continue to have fixed vaccination sites in areas with high foot traffic and that are strategically placed.

I am pleased to note that there has been a slight increase in uptake during the last week. By 12 October 2021, a total of 2 254 994 or 45.41% of the total adult population had been registered on the Electronic Vaccine Data System for their COVID-19 vaccine.

By 6 October 2021, the total number of individuals vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine was 2 154 720 or 43.29% of the total adult population. The total number of individuals fully vaccinated was 1 524 853 or 30.62% of the total adult population. 

By 11 October 2021, of the total population fully vaccinated:

  • 60.43% of those 60 years and older are fully vaccinated;
  • 46.43% of those 50-59 years are fully vaccinated;
  • 25.47% of those 30-49 years are fully vaccinated; and
  • 10.28% of those 18-29 years are fully vaccinated.

We remain committed to ensuring that each resident has the opportunity to get vaccinated in a safe and conveniently located setting. It is quick, easy and free. 

“It is less than one week left before 20 October. If you get vaccinated this week, you will have your second dose before the Festive Season starts”

To ensure that you are fully vaccinated ahead of the December holidays, you will need to have received at least the first dose of your COVID-19 vaccine by 20 October. This is because there is a 42 day waiting period between the 1st and 2nd doses.

This means that you have under a week left to get your first vaccine if you want to be fully vaccinated by December, and I encourage you to do so.

This is really important for our summer season, which is an important job creator in the Western Cape in particular.

“The Western Cape’s healthcare system is coping well, as COVID-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths decline”

The pressure on our healthcare system is continuing to decline as we have exited the third wave and more people get vaccinated.

Our healthcare platform shows us that across the province:

  • Incident cases continue to decrease, and we are now seeing on average 165 new diagnoses each day.
  • The proportion of positive COVID-19 tests has also decreased to 4%.
  • Admissions and deaths continue to decline, with an average of 42 new admissions and around 12 deaths each day.
  • Excess deaths are at the upper prediction bound and following expected patterns for this time of year in both the Cape Metro and across the province.

In line with decreased demand on our healthcare platform, we have further decommissioned the Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope and the Metro Mass Fatality Centre. Additional capacity remains available when required.

Insofar as our acute service platform is concerned:

  • Currently, there are 1 513 COVID-19 patients in our acute hospitals. This includes 775 in public hospitals and 738 in private hospitals. This excludes persons under investigation and cases in specialised hospital settings.
  • The Metro hospitals have an average bed occupancy rate of 89%; George drainage area hospitals at 69%; Paarl drainage area hospitals at 69% and Worcester drainage area hospitals at 74%. The critical care bed occupancy rate for designated COVID-19 beds for the province is at 35%.
  • COVID-19 and persons under investigation cases currently make up 8% of all available acute general hospital capacity in both Metro and rural regional hospital drainage areas.
  • COVID-19 inter-mediate care: the Brackengate Hospital of Hope currently has 50 patients or a 14.88% bed occupancy rate, and Sonstraal currently has 7 clients or a 10.29% bed occupancy rate. Freesia and Ward 99 have no patients admitted. 

“The National Government must share its roadmap for the termination of the National State of Disaster”

I am concerned that the National State of Disaster has now been extended until 15 November 2021 without proper consultation with provinces, which we believe is required to give effect to the cooperative governance principle of our constitution. There should have been a fulsome discussion on this matter, based on scientific advice, taking into consideration provincial capacity and prior planning.

It was also extended without revealing any clear plan or “roadmap” for how and when it will end, which the economy needs for certainty so that we can have a successful recovery that creates jobs. It increasingly looks like that there is in fact no plan, and that is very worrying.

The Western Cape has a five-point plan, which we believe is the framework needed to save both lives and jobs in the Western Cape and the country. This can be viewed here.