The Western Cape’s healthcare system is ready for the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Head of Health, Dr. Keith Cloete says the system is, like with the previous waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, ready to react should there be a drastic increase in hospitalizations.
Cloete says the capacity that has been built in the healthcare system, over the past 2 years, can easily be re-activated should the need arise.

He spoke to ENCA and says all systems are in place to deal with the expected 5th wave.

Cloete says the sudden increase in Covid-19 infections, recorded in the past few days, should not be a cause for alarm.

This past weekend, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the country’s test-positivity rate reached the 22% mark, with Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Western Cape recording the majority of new infections.

Cloete says newer versions of the Omicron variant are responsible for this surge in new infections.

Read more here.

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The Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator initiative needs another US$ 23-billion to facilitate the global delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.

According to the WHO Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus there is a gap of US$ 16-billion that needs to be urgently filled to address the threat of Omicron and to slow down the emergence of new variants.

Ghebreyesus urged higher-income countries to do their part to fund this urgent shortfall.

President Cyril Ramaphosa says almost 2 years, after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of Africans have still not had access to at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Ramaphosa reiterated calls by Tedros Ghebreyesus that first-World nations should do more to address the global vaccine inequity.

He says although the ACT-A initiative has made a lot of progress, it will take a lot more to defeat the global pandemic.

Watch the full briefing here.

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the Matric pass rate of 76.4% obtained in the November 2021 examinations is testament that the country’s education system is improving.

The Minister announced the pass rate last night, and says this is a slight improvement from 2020’s 76.2%.

Motshekga says the 2019 pass rate, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, stood at 81.3%.

Watch the minister’s full announcement here.

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South Africa will start producing second generation vaccines to better fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the South African-born billionaire, Patrick Soon-Shiong the vaccine production facility which opened here in the Mother City yesterday, would produce vaccines which would be far more capable in fighting the virus.

He says this new generation of vaccines are a lot more effective in disrupting the reproduction and further spread of the virus than currently available vaccines.

Soon-Shiong says the facility would also develop and produce therapies for the treatment of diseases such as cancer, HIV and tuberculosis.

Watch Dr. Soon-Shiong’s full briefing here.

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President Cyril Ramaphosa says the vaccine production facility, unveiled in Brackengate yesterday, will tremendously boost South Africa’s Covid-19 fighting capabilities.

The plant, established by the US biotech billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, is set to produce a billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by 2025.

Ramaphosa says the facility would help provide much needed doses of vaccines to other African countries.

He says the establishment of the facility is also a big investment in the country’s scientific and research skills.

Watch the full media-briefing here.

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