Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the continued extension of the national state of disaster is having a negative impact on the long-term development of learners in the province. He says the education system cannot operate at full capacity while this is in place.

Winde has again called for the lifting of the national state of disaster. He says it is no longer a useful tool for the management of COVID-19.

He says at this stage, it is causing more harm than good, especially for school children. Winde was speaking online during the provincial government’s weekly COVID-19 media briefing.

He has urged National Government to lift the regulations as soon as possible.

“88 % of our primary schools are not able to go fully back because of this declaration and the one metre rule. Now, quite frankly the long-term implications on our youth are devastating. If you look at some of the reports coming out of Stellenbosch University from Professor Jonathan Jansen and Professor Nic Spall, this data came out last year already, showing the long-term negative impact on the young people in our province.”

Update on the fight against coronavirus in the Western Cape:

Coronavirus infections declining

The Western Cape Department of Health says the number of active COVID-19 cases in the province is continuing to decrease. Last week, the province exited the peak of the fourth wave of infections. It currently has around 26 000 active cases.

Head of the Department Keith Cloete says hospital admissions and deaths for the fourth wave were also low compared to the third wave. He says they are also still waiting for more data to become available on the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Cloete was also speaking during the online briefing.

“We still have high numbers of active cases, so we urge everyone to vaccinate, wear a mask, avoid enclosed spaces, gather outdoors to contain the spread until we exit the fourth wave. The early evidence of Omicron is emerging, indicating a lower prevalence of severe cases for hospitalisations and deaths. This is mainly due to vaccinations and previous infections as shown by our data and we now await more robust research to pronounce on Omicron’s severity compared to other variants.”

More than 4.5 million vaccine doses have already been administered in the Western Cape. Just over 10 000 doses have been administered in the last 24 hours.

Below are the latest coronavirus statistics:

 

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