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26 April 2021

As of 1pm on 26 April, the Western Cape has 2027 active COVID-19 infections, with a total of 283 398 people having been infected with COVID-19 to date and 269 661 recoveries. A total of 53 507 out of the 53 820 vaccines received to date as part of the Sisonke trial, had been administered by 5pm on 25 April.

Total confirmed number of people ever infected with COVID-19 in WC283 398
Total recoveries269 661
Vaccines administered 53 507
Total deaths11 601
Total active cases (currently infected patients)2027
Tests conducted1 520 361
Hospitalisations720, of which 149 are in high care or ICU

The Western Cape has recorded 17 additional deaths since our last daily update on Friday, bringing the total number of Covid-19 related deaths in the province to 11 601. These are largely historical deaths that have been updated on the Covid-19 dashboard. There has not been a spike in deaths over the past few days. The actual number of deaths since yesterday is 3.  We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

Additional data is available on the Western Cape COVID-19 data dashboard which also features active cases per sub-district, active cases per 100 000 and 7-day moving averages. Access the data dashboard here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard 

Premier Winde welcomes lifting of suspension on J&J vaccine

I welcome the lifting of the suspension on the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine in South Africa. Vaccinations of healthcare workers are due to resume in the province from Wednesday under the Sisonke trial, and we will work as quickly as possible to ensure their rollout.

 

The J&J Sisonke programme was suspended on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, following 6 reported cases of rare blood clots in the USA (out of 6.6 million vaccinations). It has been confirmed that were no instances of rare blood clots in South Africa among healthcare workers already vaccinated. The J&J vaccine has since been found safe to use following careful consideration by SAHPRA and related bodies.

SAHPRA has however recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women should be excluded from the Sisonke trial at this stage. This is a precautionary measure that will be updated following further investigation. The Medical Research Council, along with other academic and scientific bodies, will engage SAHPRA on this recommendation. The national health department will shortly be issuing instructions on the reregistration process for healthcare worker vaccinations.

I want to reiterate that the vaccine is safe to use and will protect you from Covid-19.

I look forward to the conclusion of the Sisonke trial which will see approximately 68% of healthcare workers vaccinated. We are preparing to scale up our vaccination programme during April to complete Phase 1 (all healthcare workers). This will be supported by the expected arrival of 325 560 doses of the J&J vaccine in South Africa before 17 May 2021.

We will then start with Phase 2 of our vaccine strategy on 17 May, which will operate concurrently during May 2021 with both Pfizer and J&J vaccines being used. Our approach to the rollout of vaccines is according to age, starting with our oldest residents first.

I would like to remind residents in the province who are over 60 to complete their registration on the national government’s EVDS registration system. In the Western Cape, there are 720 000 residents over 60, and we are aiming to complete the vaccination of this age band by the end of June. 

If any resident is struggling to register and has not been able to clarify their concerns via the www.sacoronavirus.co.za/evds/support/portal, they are urged to contact our call centre on 0860 142 142. Our teams are trained and on stand-by to talk residents through the simple, 8 step process.

Once most of this age band has been vaccinated, we will push to have the EVDS system opened to lower age bands. We will ensure, through a strong communication campaign, that residents are aware of the opening of the system to younger residents.

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