The Health Ministry in the Western Cape has forecast a slower increase of COVID-19 cases compared to the second wave.

Head of the Department, Dr Keith Cloete, says this is while the province is in the grip of the third wave of infections.

Cloete was speaking during the weekly update webinar on COVID-19.

There are just over 32 000  active cases of COVID-19 in the Western Cape, 2 822 are currently in hospital, with about an equal split between the private and public sectors.

Cloete says hospital admissions are increasing at a rate of about 200 per day, lower than their earlier predictions.

“We have a 13.5 week on week increase, you will see its lower than it was a week before, our case numbers though continue to increase, we are currently seeing an average of 2335 new cases each day, in wave two in comparison, at the peak we had more than 3000 cases per day, the split between private and public sector is even in the province at the moment , admissions are now increasing by about 280 new additions per day, and the deaths are now approximating about 60 deaths per day.”

He says they are scaling up vaccination programmes with about 30 000 people getting their shots every day.

Of the 34 000 health workers in the province, about 70% have been vaccinated.

Cloete says depending on the supply, the province hopes to achieve heard immunity by November.

“Our projections are, with the current supply line and what is being procured for us over the next coming months, we will do everything in our power to maintain above 30 000 vaccinations per day, to increase access over week-ends if we need be, to even increase more than 30 000 per day to be able to get us towards the end of November, to get herd immunity in this province.”

Provincial Health Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo, says they are starting pop up vaccination centres at shopping malls, grant system pay-points and mobile buses.

Mbombo says her department has come to realise that the availability of the vaccination centres does not translate into easy access for some.

“In Mitchells Plain we are using the Sassa points, in Philippi it has been done, the farm community which is out of reach we are using the mobile wellness bus, then we have the pop up in the urban areas where we go to the malls, at  the end you have to dismantle the mainstream system where it does not accommodate everyone. We do know that availability of a service doesn’t necessarily translate to accessibility and utilisation of the service.”

Over 700 000 people have been vaccinated in the province thus far.

Authorities are calling on those who have not been vaccinated from the over 60s group to come forward  as only about 60 per cent of them have registered.

Western Cape says vaccinations continue despite looting in Gauteng and KZN:

Infographic:  latest COVID-19 cases in South Africa