Private hospitals taking strain as COVID cases rising, says WC Health's Cloete

Western Cape Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that the province had over 24,000 active cases - this was 6,402 more active cases in the past week. He said that the increase was being driven by the Delta variant.

FILE: Two patients with COVID-19, one (L) breathing in oxygen, in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: RODGER BOSCH/AFP

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape health officials said that the number of COVID-19 cases in the province were rising sharply in the province.

They said that the province was firmly in a third wave, with an average of 1,969 new cases of COVID-19 a day.

Admissions and deaths were also on the rise.

Western Cape Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that the province had over 24,000 active cases - this was 6,402 more active cases in the past week.

He said that the increase was being driven by the Delta variant.

And as cases climbed, so were hospital admissions. Cloete said that the week-on-week increases in current admissions had been above 20% over a week.

“Private hospitals are taking strain and there is an increase in cases literally across the entire province. Clusters are the big drivers of the transmissions,” Cloete said.

Comparing the first, second and third wave, he said that the province had exceeded the peak of first wave.

“We are above the first wave; we are starting to track a little bit slower than the second wave. But it could be because we are starting to limit the testing criteria and we are still watching this very carefully.”

At the same time, he said that they had anticipated that the third wave could be as high as the second wave.

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