The top official of South Africa’s Western Cape Province on Tuesday said the third COVID-19 wave will occur in the province in the next few weeks, while reaffirming that foreign residents can register for vaccines.
“I believe it (the third coronavirus wave) must be happening in the next few weeks, because you can already see the third wave in Free State Province at the inter-resurging stage,” Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde told Xinhua in an interview during a vaccination registration drive in Cape Town, the province’s capital city and the legislative capital of South Africa, adding that the province currently sees infections increasing in small numbers.
The vaccination registration campaign was launched last week with a specific focus on registering residents aged at 60 years old and above. Winde visited the Cape Town railway station and the outside to encourage people including commuters who are 60 years old or older to register to get the vaccine.
Foreign residents can register for vaccination with the passport number, according to him.
Winde said the campaign is very important as the province has to ensure that many people register on the vaccination system so that it can roll out the vaccines during the second phase of vaccination starting on May 17, noting that in general most people are happy to register.
He also said the Western Cape is ready to deal with the upcoming third wave, as it has learnt lessons in the first and second waves and done a lot of preparedness with extra staff and beds in place.
Western Cape, where about 11.3 percent of the national population live, is a province with established agricultural and tourism industries.
South Africa plans to vaccinate about 67 percent of the population by the end of this year with three phases to achieve herd immunity. Following the phase one that focuses on frontline healthcare workers, the phase two will target essential workers, persons in congregate settings, persons over 60 years of age and persons over 18 years of age with co-morbidities.
Monday’s statistics showed that the Western Cape has 2,357 active cases and the number of total infections stood at 288,411. Enditem