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With COVID-19 second wave peak still to come, hospitals are under severe strain

In the Western Cape, provincial health authorities are bracing for the second wave peak, with more than 44,000 active cases in the province.

A hospital worker and patient with COVID-19 in in the resuscitation room of the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Hospitals around the country are under severe strain as the second wave of the coronavirus continues to grow.

KwaZulu-Natal is now dealing with almost 67,000 active cases. In the Western Cape, provincial health authorities are bracing for the second wave peak, with more than 44,000 active cases in the province.

Modelling suggests the numbers will peak on Thursday and provincial authorities are expected to give an update on where the Western Cape stands in terms of bed availability.

READ: COVID-19 second wave peak expected to hit Western Cape this week
At the same time, criticism is growing over national government's vaccine procurement and rollout plan.

Sharon Ekambaram, who is part of the COVID-19 vaccine trial at Wits University, believes government has failed to work with civil society in formulating its plans.

"Critically, I don't feel like the government has made the initiative to work with civil society and communities and leaders that are at the coalface to come up with bold plans that will inspire all of us to go and get vaccinated. And for me, that's going to make a real impact in reducing the spread of the virus."

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