Western Cape now third wave epicentre as daily new Covid infections overtake Gauteng, KZN
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Cape Town - After steadily trailing behind KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, the Western Cape has surpassed these provinces and is reporting the lion’s share of daily new Covid-19 infections.
This as the province breached 40 000 active cases of the virus on Monday.
According to the provincial government’s Covid-19 Dashboard, the province reported 40 252 active cases, 408 685 confirmed cases and 353 145 recoveries as at 1pm yesterday.
About 4 707 Covid-19 reinfections have been confirmed. To date, 15 288 people have succumbed to the virus.
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the province recorded 2 333 new cases on August 1.
On Sunday, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the Western Cape was now the epicentre of the third wave.
Consultant virologist at UCT and Groote Schuur Complex of the National Health Laboratory Service, Dr Marvin Hsiao, said the epicentre was informally decided - not using any sort of scientifically pre-agreed upon criteria - due to the province/region currently seeing the highest number of cases nationally, as cases in Gauteng started to decline.
Dr Hsiao said: “Beyond big cities/provinces are more likely to contribute high numbers than smaller provinces/cities.”
Western Cape Health Department head Dr Keith Cloete said: “The natural progression of Covid-19 is that different provinces move through their respective waves in different time-frames, as was the case in the first and second wave.
“The Western Cape is therefore moving through the peak of its third wave in a different time-scale compared to other provinces, after others have done so already, and others will follow. This is the normal progression of the various waves across the various provinces, as was the case in the first and second waves.”
Last week, Dr Cloete said the province would likely reach the peak of its third wave this week.
Meanwhile, the provincial Health Department said its supply of vaccines remained under pressure, with demands for vaccinations exceeding available supplies in both the metro and rural districts.
According to the Covid-19 Dashboard, 1 127 555 vaccinations have been administered.