WC Health officials urge residents to stick to protocols as COVID cases spike

Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that in the last week, there'd been a 53% rise in active COVID-19 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 - Western Cape health officials are urging residents to adhere to COVID-19 regulations as the province saw a rapid increase in infections.

Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that in the last week, there'd been a 53% rise in active COVID-19 cases in the province.

"That's the rapid incline that we've seen in the last 10 to 14 days and that actives cases are still increasing day-on-day going into the escalation part of the third wave."

He said that there was a 51% week-on-week increase in cases in the Cape Metro.

"All sub-districts have a marked increase in cases. Most of them are in the private sector but now we're starting to see quite a few sub-districts - a mix of private and public sector - so that also tells a story of where the clusters started and where the clusters are shifting to currently."

And, in rural areas infections were climbing as well.

"There is a massive increase, more than a 50% increase in the rural districts and that's roughly across all the rural districts. The Cape Winelands may have quite a few public-private sector cases but generally, it's a mix of private and public sector across the rural areas."

Cloete said that hospital admissions were still increasing - currently, there are more than 1,000 people in hospitals in the province.

He added that metro hospitals currently had an average occupancy rate of 95%.

"The intermediate care facility at Brackengate currently has 55 patients. It now has capacity to take more patients. Brackengate can go up to 338 so we will bring more capacity on. At some trigger point, let's call it how many patients there would be at Brackengate, we'd trigger the Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope."

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