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WC still in the peak of COVID-19 second wave – provincial health dept

As of Monday night, the province has over 48,000 active cases and more than 3,300 people are in hospital across the public and private sector.

A patient with COVID-19 breaths in oxygen in the resuscitation room of the COVID ward at Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town on 29 December 2020. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Department of Health on Tuesday said the province was still in the COVID-19 peak of the second wave.

As of Monday night, the province has over 48,000 active cases and more than 3,300 people are in hospital across the public and private sector.

In the same way the second wave has been more intense than the first, the peak has been too.

Western Cape head of health Keith Cloete on Tuesday said health officials were tracking active cases, deaths and hospitalisations and the proportion positive tests.

And all of these numbers show signs of stabilising.

“It’s the signs of going into a peak. We’re not saying we’ve reduced [the numbers], but that the rapid increase is not as rapid as it was. There is a lot of pressure and at this point in time, all the signs are there that we’re in a peak.”

The numbers of people needing hospitalisation are starting to stabilise too but Cloete said the pressure is still intense.

In parallel, they are studying the second wave quite closely, looking for clues as to how the inevitable third wave will play out.

“There’s like second wave local experience which you can benchmark on what is going to be the prediction of our second wave. At this early stage, it would be very difficult to make hypothesis about it.”

Health officials will use their experiences from the first and second wave, as well as what lies ahead in the next three to four weeks to try and build a picture of what a third wave might look like.

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