GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - The Garden Route reported 110 new Covid-19 cases during the past week (ending 6 April) and the district now has 219 recorded active cases.
This is a drop of 42 in the number of active cases over the week.
Thirty-one deaths were reported, bringing the total death toll to 1 335. The death toll is disproportionately high as the district has provided provincial statistics this week that differ from local data because of the different time periods over which it is calculated.
Hospitals currently experience a 15% Covid-19 bed occupancy. To date, 3 933 healthcare workers from the district have been vaccinated at George Hospital.
Desmond Paulse, Garden Route district manager for municipal health, said environmental health practitioners were on stand-by in the various municipal areas over the Easter weekend.
"Awareness creation was done before the weekend at food and other business premises, funeral undertakers, places of religious worship and taverns. No significant violations of Covid-19 protocols were reported," he said.
Reproduction number rises
The Covid-19 reproduction number (R - the average number of infected contacts per infected individual) in the Western Cape has increased to above 1. Provincial Health Director Dr Keith Cloete said in a digital conference last week that a collective effort should be made to keep this number below 1 for as long as possible to delay the onset of the third wave.
An increase of 16% in new cases in the Cape Town metro was mainly responsible for pushing up the reproduction number. These new cases were picked up mostly through private testing for elective surgeries and travelling purposes.
Western Cape to procure own vaccines
The Western Cape Government has started a process of procuring its own vaccines. During the conference, Premier Alan Winde said a "top class" procurement team from the Department of Health and a support team from Treasury have made contact with 28 companies - wholesalers, suppliers and manufacturers - to find out what is available so orders can be placed. The province has put aside money in the budget for this purpose.
At this stage they are looking to procure Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines that are in various stages of approval by Sahpra (South African Health Products Regulatory Authority).
Winde himself has approached a number of governments around the world (mostly regional leader countries) with which the province has an established relationship.
"We know there are countries in Europe that have ordered 1,6 or 1,8 times the vaccines to their population needs, and even countries like Canada that have ordered three times their population number. If they have vaccines they cannot use we are keen to purchase," said Winde.
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