Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the provincial government is working on plans to procure additional COVID-19 vaccines. This is in order to increase capacity beyond the number of vaccines that the province will be receiving from national government.

The national government will be distributing vaccines to provinces after receiving the first batch of vaccines from the Serum Institute of India  earlier this week.

President Cyril Ramaphosa receives 1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine:

The province is aiming to vaccinate around 100 000 healthcare workers during its first phase.

The Western Cape’s vaccine rollout is expected to start on 15 February.

Winde says the additional vaccines the province plans to procure will help cater for a shortfall if the vaccines received from the national government are not enough.

He was speaking online, during his weekly digital media briefing.

“We will enter into a procurement phase for vaccines. That then gives the official policy position, which then goes to the Provincial Treasury and our health team because, of course, health is the procurement agent. They procure PPE and product all the time, but Treasury also will join them in looking at the kind of complexities of this procurement.”

Decrease in active cases 

Speaking during the same briefing, Head of the Western Cape Department of Health, Dr. Keith Cloete, says the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province has decreased by 44% over the last week.

He says hospital admissions and deaths have also dropped by 42% and 31%, respectively. The Western Cape currently has just under 10 000 active cases.

Cloete says the proportion of positive tests returning from the labs has also decreased sharply.

“The proportion positive, at the peak it was 50%. We’ve recorded in the last week 13.4%. That’s a rapid decline in proportion positive. So, we can say that we are starting to move towards the kind of figures we saw in October. We expect to reach that sometime next week, but while this is all pointing downwards, the admissions and deaths are still high and the health system is still under pressure, not as much pressure and people are still at risk.”

Around 268 000 confirmed cases have been recorded in the province, with around 248 000 recoveries. Around 10 500 people have died from the virus.

More than 1.2 million tests have been conducted in the province so far.

Below are the latest coronavirus stats in SA: