The Northern Cape is currently in the midst of a prolonged third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
MORE than 8,600 people in the Northern Cape have been hospitalised for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.
This is according to the Northern Cape Department of Health, which stated that the Province is currently in the midst of a prolonged third wave.
Department spokesperson Lebigang Majaha said on Monday that there are currently 31 people in intensive care.
“The total number of hospital admissions since the start of the pandemic stands at 8,661. Currently, in the order of 203 people are admitted to hospital, with 31 people in the intensive care unit (ICU),” said Majaha.
“The Province is currently in the midst of a prolonged third wave. This started off being driven by the Beta variant, but now the numbers appear to be surging, driven by the Delta variant. The Province must also prepare for a fourth wave after the current wave subsides. This is why it is so important for residents to get vaccinated.”
Majaha said the department has put measures in place to make Covid-19 vaccines more accessible to residents across the Province.
“We are gearing up to have vaccinations available in at least 50% of the 163 primary health-care clinics in the Province, with the aim of increasing this to 100%.
“Since August 20, 2021, people aged 18 years and above are eligible to register on the EVD (Electronic Vaccination Data System) to get vaccinated. We also allow the youngsters to simply turn up at a vaccination site on weekdays between 8am and 3pm. All districts will also have at least one drive-through vaccination site running over each weekend.
“The department is undertaking all necessary measures to combat vaccine hesitancy in our Province, while eliminating barriers to accessing the vaccination sites.”
Majaha said the Province has ramped up its vaccination programme in order to reach its target of vaccinating 67% of the population.
“Since the start of the vaccination programme, 202,764 vaccine jabs have been administered in the Northern Cape. Of these, more than 112,645 people are deemed fully vaccinated, which includes either the single-jab Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the double-jab Pfizer vaccine.
“According to the mid-year population estimates, the Province has a population of 1.29 million people. Our provincial target for vaccination is 67%, which amounts to 847,545 people in order to achieve herd immunity. Currently, 22.5 % of the targeted population have been vaccinated.
“The Province has 60,000 vaccine jabs immediately available, with more coming in future weeks.”
Majaha added that the recovery rate in the Province is also satisfactory.
“Of the 76,726 people who have been infected with Covid-19 since March 2020, 88% have recovered from the virus.
“Key factors fuelling the current resurgence is the increased cluster outbreaks in schools, at funerals and social gatherings; people with positive diagnosis not adhering to isolation guidelines; and wrong or no address provided, making follow-up and contact tracing very difficult.
“The total reported deaths since March 2020 stands at 1,920, including 43 health-care workers.”
Majaha urged residents to continue to adhere to the Covid-19 health protocols even after being vaccinated.
“We again appeal to all members of the community to adhere to non-pharmaceutical measures of wearing cloth masks, washing hands or using alcohol-based sanitiser and maintaining social distancing to curb the viral transmissions. We also encourage community members to stay away from large gatherings,” he advised.