W Cape sees a 42% weekly increase of new COVID-19 cases - Health Dept

This was recorded over a two-week period from late November to Wednesday.

© lightfieldstudios/123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Health Department on Thursday said there's been a 42% weekly increase in new COVID-19 infections.

This was recorded over a two-week period from late November to Wednesday.

There are now more than 10,000 active cases in the province.

READ MORE: SA records 4,173 new COVID-19 infections as WC battles a resurgence

Cape Town and the Garden Route remain areas of concern as infections continue to rise.

Head of health Dr Keith Cloete said a week ago the positivity rate was at 16% - it's now sitting at over 20%.

He said the number of COVID-19 cases was starting to match levels last seen in mid-May, which was the first initial surge in the province.

Cloete added there'd been a rapid increase in hospitalisations in the public and private sector.

Hospitals in Cape Town and the Garden Route are running at average occupancy rates of 79% amid the resurgence of COVID-19 infections.

“Our local teams need to be on high alert for local response to clusters. There’s now a big need for target enforcement and behaviour change.”

ALSO READ: CT tourism industry concerned about COVID-19 resurgence in the WC

As of Wednesday, more than 1,200 people have had to be hospitalised.

“We’ve had more admissions in the Garden Route this time around than in the first surge. We are also seeing an increase in the metro now ticking up.”

He said that with the rise in cases, the number of deaths was also going up.

The number of fatalities has increased from 87 to 152 in the space of just a few days.

CAPE TOWN COVID-19 INFECTIONS

At the same time, the provincial Health Department’s professor Mary-Ann Davies said in every sub-district in Cape Town, there had been at least a 30% increase in the past week.

Mitchell’s Plain had the highest at 93%.

“Since our low point in September, there has been nearly 500% increase in our number of cases,” Davies said.

In the Garden Route, the second peak exceeded the first peak and the region is dealing with at least 400 new cases a day.

“We have contingency plans to scale up our hospital bed capacity as required, but I have to stress that this comes at a cost of what hospitals can do for people with other needs,” said Cloete.

The department’s key concern was healthcare workers facing significant strain over the coming weeks.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.