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WC Health Dept believes it has enough beds to deal with COVID-19 resurgence

Provincial hospitalisations have increased by 63% in November, with critical care admissions up by 75%. Officials said that they had plans in place to access more capacity as the need arose over the coming weeks.

A row of beds at the CTICC COVID-19 field hospital. Image: Premier Alan Winde/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Health Department believes that it has sufficient bed space to cope with a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

Provincial hospitalisations have increased by 63% in November, with critical care admissions up by 75%.

Officials said that they had plans in place to access more capacity as the need arose over the coming weeks.

In September, COVID-19 hospitalisations reached a low of under 500.

This week it was over 900.

Provincial head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that there'd been a two-fold increase in hospitalisations in the Cape metro over the past two weeks.

"The increase in numbers at hospitals has been astronomical and places like Groote Schuur, Mitchells Plain, Tygerberg, Somerset, we are looking at massive numbers of people becoming ill."

The field hospital in Brackengate went from less than 10 patients in September to over 110 on Wednesday.

The facility can treat 338 people.

Cloete said that in the Garden Route, all private hospitals were at capacity and they were now turning to the public sector for assistance.

However, government hospitals are also under pressure.

"The public sector hospitals in George and Knysna are at capacity and straining and we are bringing some additional capacity online."

Cloete warned that the death rate was also going back up.

"We're expecting those numbers to now start going up because the numbers in hospital are going up so radically. We have high-flow oxygen... we give people the best treatment that we can."

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