WC seeing consistent drop in COVID-19 cases but rise in trauma incidents - dept

The Western Cape Health Department said that its health platform was stabilising as it saw a consistent decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.

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 Health Department said that its health platform was stabilising as it saw a consistent decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalisations.

There were currently 950 people in hospital with the virus.

The department said that COVID-19 hospitalisations had continued to decline, however, there has been an increase in trauma cases.

Cape Town hospitals have an average occupancy rate of 86%, George at 62% and Paarl at 71%.

Western Cape head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete: "We look at the occupancy for designated COVID-19 beds, it's 11% in the metro and it varies between 15% and 23% in the regional hospital drainage areas and only 6% of all our beds currently are occupied by people with COVID-19."

He said that the combined public-private oxygen utilisation was now 19.28 tons a day.

"The public sector is done to 15.2 tons. That's compared to 51 tons in the first week in January and you can see how far our reduction has come. So, we will continue to monitor and we very much have learned a lot about being prepared for the third wave."

Previously, the department had to transport oxygen from the Eastern Cape in January.

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