We are preparing as if a second Covid-19 wave will come, says Winde, Newsline

Cape Town – The provincial Health Department is keeping an eye on international trends regarding Covid-19 second waves in an effort to err on the side of caution in the event that it happens, according to head of health Dr Keith Cloete.

“At the moment we’re being cautious, and we’d rather be over-cautious than be over-confident that it won’t happen,” said Cloete.

Cloete, speaking at Premier Alan Winde’s regular digital news conference (digicon) said: “The risk of having a second wave is significant and we are preparing as if one will come.”

“Our strategy is to ensure that any sign of a small outbreak needs to be recognised and contained early.”

Cloete said that if a 10% to 20% increase in infections was seen, it would be reason for an alert and anything more than a 20% increase would spell a resurgence.

“For the moment, however, our case mortality and hospitalisation data continue to stabilise and the health platform has coped with the cases requiring admission.”

Speaking to the digicon’s theme, which was “Promoting the dignity and well-being of our vulnerable people”, Winde said: “During our Cabinet bosberaad session held last month, we resolved to focus the provincial recovery efforts around three key pillars: dignity and well-being, jobs and safety.

“Dignity means valuing every person as a significant and unique individual who is worthy of respect,” said Winde.

Other participants were Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez and her agriculture counterpart, Ivan Meyer.

Fernandez said: “We initiated a humanitarian work stream to respond to the numerous challenges that emerged.

“However, the impact of job losses and personal trauma require that we adapt to a dignity and well-being focus.

“As part of the department’s first delivery phase which commenced on September 18, a total of 1 932 million (sanitary) pads were delivered to approximately 90 000 female learners in 221 schools across the Western Cape.”

Meyer said his department believed investment in agriculture was the best weapon against hunger and poverty.

Cape Argus