Despite passing 10k mark, Western Cape has seen a 11% drop in Covid-19 deaths
By Mwangi Githahu 21m ago
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Cape Town – The bad news is that the Western Cape marked the milestone of over 10 000 Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday, however, the good news is that the province reported an 11% drop in deaths, and a 37% drop in hospital admissions.
Head of the provincial health department Dr Keith Cloete said there was also a 49% decrease in Covid-19 cases across the province for the second week in a row.
Cloete said: “These data confirm that we have passed the peak of our second wave and are on a downward trajectory on all measures. Current case numbers are similar to what we experienced around December 13, 2020.”
Cloete was speaking during Premier Alan Winde’s regular digicon health update, during which he also said: “After a short period where cases plateaued, the Garden Route is once again on a downward trajectory, with a 49% drop in the last week. The case numbers in the Garden Route resemble those seen around November 1.”
Cloete said the Western Cape had passed the peak of the second wave with “clear and consistent signs of decline in cases, hospitalisation and deaths”.
“We should however remain vigilant and continue to adhere to protective behaviours to reduce new cases, while restrictions are lifted in a phased manner,” he said
During the digicon the department of agriculture’s chief director for business planning, Dirk Troskie, outlined the impact level 3 restrictions had on the wine industry.
Troskie said the continuing ban on alcohol sales had led to sales on the black market, and for some in the province this would mean “permanent inclusion in the criminal economy”.
Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer and Winde urged the national government to lift the ban on alcohol sales.
Asked what the view of the provincial health department was on lifting the alcohol ban, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: “For us it is not a matter of health or the economy. We cannot create binaries in that aspect.
“In the same way as we can’t ban cars because they kill people in accidents or ban men because of their contribution to GBV, it’s the same with alcohol. While we know that we absorb the consequences in our trauma wards etc, it is a social problem that needs to be addressed elsewhere. We cannot close the country throughout just because of the health aspect.”