Winde to brief Cape legislature’s ad hoc committee on Covid-19 second wave
By Mwangi Githahu 34m ago
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Cape Town – Premier Alan Winde and officials from the provincial Department of Health will on Tuesday afternoon brief a special sitting of the legislature’s Covid-19 ad-hoc committee on the current status of the second wave in the Western Cape.
Winde and officials have been asked to brief the committee specifically about the progression of the pandemic; hospital and healthcare worker capacity; coronavirus projections and preparedness; oxygen supplies and communication about the second wave with the province’s residents.
The committee undertook oversight and public participation activities during the period between from April 14 to Nov 24 this year, holding nearly 30 sessions and publishing a report.
The move appeared to be a reaction to a call on Christmas Eve, by ANC provincial spokesperson on health Rachel Windvogel, for the ad hoc committee to meet.
Windvogel said: “The weekly ad hoc Covid committee of the legislature needs to urgently reconvene its weekly meetings where the executive has to account for its actions and especially since Covid-19 infection rates are reaching an all-time high in the province in the so-called second wave.”
On Saturday, committee chairperson Mireille Wenger (DA) said: “Although the provincial parliament is currently in recess, the second wave we currently experience requires oversight by MPLs so that we can report back to our constituents and the public at large.”
“Given the rapid resurgence of Covid-19 across the country, we believe it is in the best interests of Western Cape residents that a comprehensive update is provided on government’s management of the pandemic. One of our very top priorities is to keep residents informed so that they can make safe, informed decisions for their families and loved ones,” said Wenger.
Yesterday, ad hoc committee member Brett Herron (Good Party) said: “The provincial government needs to account for its reckless attitude to restrictions. As hospitals were at capacity and running out of oxygen for critical patients, this government was calling for beach restrictions to be lifted.
“We need to understand from the government how they intend to address the shortage of hospital capacity and to explain what informed their decision to close temporary facilities like the CTICC prematurely when we saw second waves in the rest of the world,” said Herron.
This afternoon’s meeting will be live-streamed via the legislature’s website and its YouTube channel from 2pm to 5pm.