COVID-19 admissions in WC significantly lower than third wave peak

Provincial Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete said this was due to high levels of protection among the general population as a result of vaccines and prior infection.

A hospital worker and patient with COVID-19 in in the resuscitation room of the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape health authorities said new COVID-19 admissions are currently only at 63% of what they were during the pandemic's third wave peak.

According to provincial Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, this was due to high levels of protection among the general population as a result of vaccines and prior infection.

"The proportion of severe cases to date that has been lower and the difference is these profile with less COVID-19 pneumonia," Cloete said.

Public health experts said during the fourth wave, there was a growing gap between the high number of coronavirus cases being recorded and the relatively lower number of hospital admissions and deaths compared to previous waves.

Cloete stressed that vaccination was still the most important measure to protect people against severe COVID-19 and death.

"We still have high numbers of cases, so we urge to vaccinate, wear a mask, avoid being closed spaces, gather outdoors to contain the spread until we exit the fourth wave. The early evidence on Omicron is emerging, indicating lower incidents of hospitalisations and deaths.