Health authorities urge public to play their part in managing rising COVID cases

Gauteng and the Western Cape are in a steep third wave driven by the delta variant.

FILE: Nurse Salome Nkoana, acting operational manager of COVID-19 ward at the Tembisa Hospital, checks the history of a patient infected with COVID-19 in Tembisa, on March 2, 2021. Picture: Guillem Sartorio / AFP

CAPE TOWN - As COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions and deaths continue to increase, Health Department officials are calling on citizens to do their part in alleviating the strain on the healthcare system.

Gauteng and the Western Cape are in a steep third wave driven by the delta variant.

The Health Department said that there were, on average, 170 new admissions in the Western Cape alone per day, with the number of deaths also rising, with around 35 each day.

The Western Cape is now dealing with over 26,000 active cases.

Provincial Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that according to the SA COVID-19 modelling consortium, it was predicted that the province would have 1,900 cases per day and that's exactly what the figures were now.

He said that next week, it was predicted that the figure would rise to about 3,000 a day: “Our admissions are about 330 per day and they predict that we will go up to about 500 admissions by mid-July. So we are tracking and using these predictions to prepare what we need in terms of capacity to be able to cope with this.”

Speaking about the peak of the third wave, Cloete said that they were looking at the end of July and beginning of August and explained how this may look like.

“Our current prediction is that things will look very similar to the end of December, beginning of January; a strain on healthcare system, pressure on critical bed capacity in public and private and pressure of people trying to get into hospital needing oxygen.”

He said they were keeping a close eye on Gauteng as the province would give some sort of idea as to how the expected peak would behave.

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