[UPDATE] Western Cape braces for 'longer and flatter' Covid-19 peak

Premier Alan Winde says the province's coronavirus peak will likely be flatter, later, and longer, according to epidemiological evidence.

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The Western Cape’s previous projections predicted a sharp Covid-19 peak towards the end of June/beginning of July.

However, Premier Winde says the projected surge in daily deaths and hospitalisations has not been as extreme as was anticipated during June.

Covid-19 hospitalisations, both in public and private facilities, have been tracking around 1,700 to 2,000 patients consistently for the last two weeks, Winde explains.

He adds that the estimated number of deaths is tracking around 60 to 70 deaths a day, accounting for anticipated delays and under-reporting

According to the latest data modelling, the peak in the Western Cape seems to be later than was originally projected and is likely to take place from the end of July to the beginning of August.

The peak is also flatter than provincial authorities originally projected, meaning that hospitalisations and deaths will be more "spread out".

As a result, it's projected that 5,450 beds will be needed at the peak, which is much lower than previously anticipated.

However, Winde says a more flattened trajectory is expected to last longer - for at least two months.

The premier says this scenario could potentially lead to cumulative deaths of approximately 10, 000 people during the pandemic.

Winde says provincial authorities will be conducting more post-mortem Covid-19 tests in an effort to collate more accurate data.

They're saying it's going to last a bit longer than we think... at least for two months.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

At the moment, we have sufficient beds in the system.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

Even though we are seeing a plateau, we are not going to see a reduction in deaths. The death toll is [projected] around 10,000 for the province.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

The premier says that data modelling cannot be certain because the Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented.

He's also encouraged Wester Cape residents to adjust their behaviour in order to flatten the curve further.

There's no real certainty. It's unpredictable. We've got to use the best minds that we can and then we as government have to make decisions.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Premier

Read the full update from the Western Cape Premier here.

_Listen to the discussion on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham: _

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : [UPDATE] Western Cape braces for 'longer and flatter' Covid-19 peak