Health authorities in the Western Cape say evidence shows that the province has officially passed the peak of the current wave of COVID-19 infections. It warns that it is still within the third wave of the pandemic, urging people to continue vaccinating and adhering to prescribed protocols.

A study with healthcare workers during the current wave of the pandemic at a public health facility shows the vaccine programme is working.

“These are the healthcare workers of the Health department that are on Purcell and obviously we looked at this data over a period of time during the third wave. In the unvaccinated group, you can see that the risk of death is one in 418. In the vaccinated group the risk of death is one in 1 490. So the risk of death is 3.3 times higher in the unvaccinated versus the vaccinated health care worker group. For us that’s a really powerful, really crucial message in terms of the effectiveness of the vaccine,” says Western Cape Health Chief of Operations Dr. Saadiq Kariem.

Possibility of annual vaccination for COVID-19: Dr. Catherine Scheepers

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases says the current surge in COVID-19 infections seems to be showing signs of a sustained downward trend.

The NICD reports that 6 270 new COVID-19 cases have been identified. Another 175 people have died from COVID 19-related complications bringing the death toll to 84 327.

The number of cases remain high in the Western Cape with 1 479. KwaZulu-Natal has 1 223 and the Eastern Cape with 1 117.

COVID-19 Pandemic | Vaccines may have to be administered every year: NICD