'Western Cape must be moved to level 1 as soon as possible'
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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde has called for a move to alert level 1 and also called for a clear plan for the termination of the national state of disaster, as “government cannot use this extreme tool forever”.
Winde made the call on Wednesday, stating that as the province was exiting the third wave of Covid-19 infections, it was clear that the Western Cape “must be moved to alert level 1 as soon as possible”.
He also reiterated his call to end lockdown.
“This move will provide much-needed support to our economy and enable us to get the balance right in saving both lives and jobs in our province.
“The Western Cape also calls for an end to the national state of disaster. The national government cannot use this extreme tool forever, especially if we are to grow the economy and create the jobs our country needs to recover.
“That is why I will request from the national government a clear plan for its termination, with set time-frames,” Winde said.
“Currently, the 7-day moving average for new cases in the Western Cape is 620. We know that we will have officially exited the third wave, in terms of the technical definition, once new infections are at 15% of the peak or 530 cases. We are quickly approaching this number.
“All our other indicators also continue to show a significant decline, including in hospitalisations, deaths, our test positivity rate and oxygen usage.
“It is simply not justifiable to impose restrictions on the economy, especially at a time when we are facing a terrifying unemployment crisis, and when the data clearly demonstrates that our health-care platform has more than adequate capacity to respond,” Winde said.
“These restrictions must therefore be relaxed as soon as possible.”
The Western Cape’s Health Platform Data is as follows:
- Case numbers continue to decrease, with around 620 new diagnoses daily. This is compared to 3 543 at its highest point on August 17, 2021.
- The proportion of positive Covid-19 tests has also decreased to 10%. This is compared to 42% at its highest point on July 26, 2021.
- Admissions and deaths continue to decrease, with an average of 120 new admissions and around 35 deaths each day. This is down from 362 new admissions and around 122 deaths at its highest point on August 1 and July 30 2021 respectively.
- There has been a consistent decline in excess deaths both in the Cape Metro and across the province.
- The Western Cape’s total oxygen consumption is approximately 57 tons a day. This is compared to 78.7 tons or 104.9% at its highest point on August 19, 2021.
- Covid-19 and Persons Under Investigation (PUI) patients currently make up only 13% of total admissions at our public sector hospitals.
Previously, Good MPL Brett Herron and EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego weighed in on the matter.
Herron had said there was a need to continue balancing the ability of the health-care system to assist those who are infected and need care with the need to re-open the economy as much as possible.
“Reopening the economy completely risks a resurgence of infection and the inevitable lockdown.
“I would support a more predictable level of restriction since this is easier for businesses to plan around instead of an approach which opens up everything and shuts everything down and opens up and then shuts everything down.
“As a business owner myself, directly affected by these lockdowns, the sudden and unpredictable shutdown of my business was more damaging than the current moderate restrictions which allow me to plan and manage how the business operates,” said Herron.
Xego, meanwhile, had accused Winde of trying to score political points.
“The premier cannot distance himself from a Covid-19 management system of which he has been part and parcel from inception.
“This premier is not serious about lives and livelihoods. For him it is all about profits that can be made by the owners of industries. We are still of the conviction that the Covid-19 pandemic and responses to it must be handled by scientists and not pseudo-scientists like Premier Winde,” said Xego.
He said the people of the province are tired and exhausted because of the disaster regulations and the negative impact they have had on the psychological well being of citizens.