New COVID cases turns WC into province with highest infection rate

“We now have more than 50 people per day who have passed away over the last five days.”

FILE: Medical swabs to test for the coronavirus. Picture: Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape is once again the province with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

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More than 3,200 cases have been recorded in the province in the past 24 hours.

“Our hospitals in the province currently have 2,000 people across public and private hospitals. That means if you have anything else wrong with you over this coming couple of weeks, a heart attack, a stroke, or anything, it’s going to be very difficult for you to access healthcare,” said Western Cape head of health, Dr Keith Cloete.

Cloete said the death rate was also a cause for concern.

“We now have more than 50 people per day who have passed away over the last five days,” he said.

The country on Wednesday once again breached the 10,000 mark when it comes to daily COVID-19 infections.

READ: Cele to report back to coronavirus council after visiting CT beaches

The latest cases pushed the known number of infections since the start of the outbreak to 883,687. The country’s positivity rate stood at 21% - this far exceeds the ideal rate of 10%.

The Western Cape was once the epicentre of the virus, and in June accounted for 60% of all cases.

Another 166 people also died after contracting the virus, pushing the national death toll to 23,827. So far, over 774,000 people had recovered.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday launched an urgent court bid challenging a government decision to close Garden Route Beaches. The Garden Route, along with the Sarah Baartman District, were declared new coronavirus hotspots on Monday.

Beaches in the region have been closed until 3 January 2021, by order of the National Coronavirus Command Council, as gatherings at beaches could be potential superspreaders. Cape Town beaches would remain open.

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