The Western Cape government says its current trajectory forecasts the province may enter the third wave in two to three weeks.

Premier Alan Winde said the province is currently facing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.

“While this is not yet a third wave, it is the first sign that we are moving towards one.

“Our current trajectory shows we may be facing a third wave in two to three weeks. This depends on several factors – most importantly, the behaviour of our residents in preventing the spread of the virus.”

He said the province is fully prepared for the surge in cases and has adopted a five-point plan, which includes changing community behaviour to prevent infection; surveillance and outbreak response; scaling-up health platform Covid-19 capacity, when needed; maintaining comprehensive services; and safeguarding and protecting the well-being of healthcare workers.

“Our guiding principle remains that no person will be denied access to life-saving medical treatment. We must make sure we have enough beds, staff and oxygen to respond effectively in the month ahead,” said Winde.The Afrox Western Cape plant has undertaken to scale up its provision of oxygen capacity, in order to respond to an increase in demand.

“The provincial health department will also continue to monitor how much oxygen is used over the upcoming weeks. In the Western Cape, the combined public-private utilisation is currently at 31.84 tons per day or 45.49% of the production capacity.

“In total, 70 tons are available per day from the Afrox Western Cape plant, which we believe is sufficient to respond at a third wave peak,” he added.

According to data from the national health department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, North West and the Western Cape have experienced sustained increases over the past couple of weeks.

As of yesterday, the number of new infections had climbed to 4 236.

In planning for a potential third wave, the provincial government said it had sufficient bed capacity for those in need of intermediate care, high care or ICU.

“I can confirm that the Western Cape has sufficient bed capacity to respond to the resurgence in Covid-19 cases and, through previous investments during this pandemic, can bring online additional bed capacity where and when needed,” Winde said.

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