Screening location include Battery and Central parks, and Meerendal Wine Estate
DEVELOPING: Coronavirus COVID-19 in Cape Town. Updates + practical tips
Omicron leads to uptick in vaccination rates in province + latest stats
Last update: Friday, 3 December 2021
- BREAKING: Omicron has milder symptoms if you're vaccinated, data shows
- New variant has led to increase in vaccination rates in Western Cape
- Health Minister confident we can manage fourth wave without heavy restrictions
- Hospital capacity in South Africa still sufficient
- WATCH: Booster shots explained
VACCINATIONS DEMAND INCREASES IN WESTERN CAPE
The discovery of the new covid-19 variant, Omicron, that is driving the fourth wave has shown early signs of increasing the demand for vaccinations, Western Cape health department head Keith Cloete stated. As a result, the province is back on target for daily vaccine distribution, according to this News24 report.
And in Friday's (3 December, 2021) national media briefing, Health Minister Joe Phaahla stated that, so far, national hospitals are coping. “Hospital admissions are dominated by those who are unvaccinated and especially those below 40 who’re unvaccinated.” He added that the Free State is the first province to have reached the 50% mark in terms of vaccinations.
OMICROM SYMPTOMS ARE MILDER IF YOU'RE VAXXED
According to the Health Minister, symptoms appear to be milder in those who are vaccinated. “We hope that the mild nature of the illness will continue to be the dominant feature,” Phaahla said, according to this TimesLive report.
He also said indications are that more children under 5 are being hospitalised. However, he stated, according to News24, “We can manage Omicron. We can … manage in a way where government doesn’t have to invoke serious restrictions in the next few days.”
"AFRICA MUST STAND TOGETHER"
Minister Phaahla expressed his anger at South Africa being put on the red-list, stating that our local research has benefited other countries. “They still went ahead and slapped us with travel bans,” he complained.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said Africa needs to stand together now and open up our own borders in Africa. He said we need to show the world “...we’re also united in our call to say knee-jerk reactions of closing down borders don’t help the economy”. He added that we have a track record of managing the disease through various protocols and these should be trusted. Watch Winde’s response here.
Read more on travel restrictions on our getting around update.
COVID-19 UPDATE IN WESTERN CAPE: THE SITUATION NOW
The Western Cape had administered 4 208 978 vaccines as of 2 December, and as of 3 December has recorded 2 718 active cases of Covid-19 (currently infected patients), with a total of 527 456 confirmed cases, according to the Western Cape government's dashboard.
Below are the Western Cape stats, according to the WC government’s dashboard as of 3 December:
- 504 513 recorded recoveries
- 20 225 deaths
- 2 718 active cases
COVID-19 IN SOUTH AFRICA: THE SITUATION NOW
As of 2 December, the National Department of Health had administered a total of 26 109 436 vaccines. So far, the national total of reported cases stands at 2 988 148 cases. Here are the official figures, according to the Department of Health:
- 2 850 905 recorded recoveries, with a 96,3% recovery rate
- 19 580 433 tests have been conducted
- 89 915 total deaths
- 47 328 active cases
WATCH: DOCTORS DEBUNK 13 VACCINE MYTHS
Make an informed choice about getting the Covid-19 vaccine by watching Science Insider’s Debunked series, where scientists Dr Nipunie Rajapakse and Dr Maria Elena Bottazzi debunk 13 myths about the Covid-19 vaccine. Some of these include the dependence of herd immunity to avoid vaccination, receiving vaccines that carry diseases and more.
SA MOVES TO LEVEL 1 + NEW REGULATIONS
Plus we are at level 1 since President Cyril Ramaphosa's speech on Thursday, 30 September.
Ramaphosa eased some restrictions: sales for off-site alcohol consumption open from Monday - Friday, curfew extended by an hour to midnight - 4am and the increase of indoor gatherings to 750 people and 2000 people outdoors. Find the full details here.
THESE ARE THE BASICS TO STAYING SAFE
Here’s how we can stay safe according to the official coronavirus website:
Wash your hands regularly with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. It’s still one of the most effective ways to keep the virus at bay.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze with a flexed elbow or tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
HOW SOUTH AFRICA EASES IN AND OUT OF LOCKDOWN
There is a risk-adjusted lockdown strategy in place. There are 5 levels, which will work similarly to loadshedding. These levels are implemented based on the number of new infections and healthcare-system readiness. We are currently under level 2 lockdown.
For the latest regulation changes that should come with a new level, read our lockdown news update.
By Hloni Manare
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