The number of active COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape has declined by more than 50% over the past two weeks, dropping from about 40 000 to around 19 000 cases.
On Tuesday, January 26 the province recorded a total of 263 398 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 234 011 recoveries since March 2020.
There are currently 2893 hospitalisations, and 510 of these cases are in ICU.
Premier Alan Winde has requested that President Cyril Ramaphosa review some of the restrictions placed on the Western Cape, as he believes the province’s declining numbers are encouraging.
“I have written to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to convene a special President’s Coordinating Council meeting as soon as possible so that some restrictions in our province can be relaxed as a matter of urgency and so that we avoid an economic disaster in the Western Cape,” the Premier said.
According to Winde, another letter with requests made to ease restrictions, which was addressed to Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mhkize, has not yet been answered.
Specifically, the Western Cape has requested the following changes be made urgently:
- The ban on beaches and other public spaces must be lifted in the province. Open spaces with good ventilation are safer and they do not provide a high risk. Furthermore, the festive season is over, and people are back at work;
- The curfew be changed to 11pm to 4am. The current curfew makes it impossible for restaurants to provide a dinner service and this sector is buckling as a result;
- A closing time for 10pm for establishments, that will allow for staff to get home before curfew begins;
- Alcohol sales be permitted offsite from Monday to Thursday, and not permitted on the weekend;
- Alcohol sales be permitted at wine farms on the weekend, as this is the time when most visitors come to wine farms. Such sales are critical for the survival of wine tourism in the Western Cape; and
- Onsite alcohol consumption be allowed. If restaurants cannot sell alcohol with dinner service, they will not remain profitable and will be forced to close. This will result in many job losses.