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Winde says it is time to let the Covid-19 lockdown expire, as Western Cape passes fourth peak

Premier Alan Winde has called on the national government to allow the national state of disaster to expire. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Premier Alan Winde has called on the national government to allow the national state of disaster to expire. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Jan 7, 2022

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde has called on the national government to allow the national state of disaster to expire.

Speaking during the regular provincial digital news conference update on the Covid-19 situation in the province, Winde said while the number of cases and test positivity rate exceeded the second and third wave peak respectively, hospitalisations were lower, and deaths remained notably low.

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He said throughout the fourth wave, including at the peak, the province had maintained its Covid-19 critical care capacity and had not exceeded 50% of its oxygen usage.

He said the Western Cape had now passed the peak of its fourth wave, and expected a consistent decline in cases in the weeks ahead.

“This is now unquestionable evidence that we have the ability and capacity to manage Covid-19 without a disaster declaration, and that the time has come to normalise our response.

“We do not need the national State of Disaster, which is an extreme tool imposed with the primary intention of protecting our health platform. It must be allowed to expire by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.”

The Western Cape head of Health Dr Keith Cloete said the province was witnessing a decline in cases during the fourth wave in the Western Cape, but still had a high number of active cases, driven by the Omicron variant.

“The Province will have reached the end of the wave once we have about 600 new cases per day based on the seven-day moving average of cases.”

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He said cases in the Metro are decreasing across all sub-districts and that the rural districts were also seeing decreases in week-on-week cases, even though these were smaller decreases than in the Metro.

“We continue to see a widening gap between cases, hospital admissions and deaths. This trend started in the third wave, but is greater in the fourth wave.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the Province’s priority in rolling its vaccine programme was to ensure that those at the highest risk of hospitalisation and death were fully vaccinated and protected.

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