WC Health Dept keeping close eye on PPE supplies amid COVID-19 infection spike

The Western Cape's hospitals are overflowing with COVID-19 cases, with authorities reporting that Cape Metro hospitals are running at 105% of capacity on average.

Personal protective equipment (PPE). Picture AFP

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Health Department said that it was keeping a close eye on supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) and other hospital equipment needed to deal with the fierce second wave of COVID-19 infections.

The province has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country right now and the numbers of new infections and deaths continue to climb rapidly.

The Western Cape's hospitals are overflowing with COVID-19 cases, with authorities reporting that Cape Metro hospitals are running at 105% of capacity on average.

"We're probably admitting roughly 320 people every single day and the private sector about 250 daily admissions."

The department's Sadiq Karrim said that patients were of course also recovering and being discharged from hospital but they are replaced very quickly.

"We're still noting a very significant exponential increase in our cases, hospitalisations and therefore deaths."

Karrim said that they have enough stock of most of the PPEs they need to get them through the second wave but they're concerned about the availability of the specialised N95 masks amid a global shortage.

The department is also scrambling to bring as many extra beds into the system as possible and staff up to levels that can manage the second wave.

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