Winde warns WC's COVID-19 infections could hit 7,000 mark next week

Western Cape Premie Alan Winde wants to ramp up testing efforts even further but they're bumping up against the capacity of the system.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde gets tested for COVID-19: Image: Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape's premier is warning that the number of COVID-19 infections in the province is likely to rise as high as 7,000 in the next week.

At the moment, confirmed cases in the province since the virus first emerged stand at 3,771 with 94 new cases being confirmed in the last 24 hours.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said that 150 patients were currently in hospital, 62 of whom were in ICU or in high care.

The province has been the epicentre of the virus for weeks now.

Winde wants to ramp up testing efforts even further but they're bumping up against the capacity of the system.

"Our problem is can we test? We're pushing the National Laboratory Health Services because now we're getting to the stage of 4,000 tests a day."

The Western Cape has screened 284,000 people so far which is fewer than some other provinces.

But provincial head of Health, Dr Kieth Cloete, explained last week that their targeted approach to screening meant that more of those screened were referred for tests.

The team maintains they're finding more cases because of this approach and the premier is warning residents to be ready for much higher numbers next week.