WC health system operating at 110% critical care as COVID cases spike, says dept

Western Cape head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that infections had yet to peak in the province and that this would likely happen in the next seven to 10 days.

FILE: A hospital worker walks amongst patients in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. The patents in this ward are not critically serious, but do require oxygen and to lie down. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape health officials said that the province's health system was under threat as COVID-19 hospital admissions were spiking.

There are currently more than 3,000 people being treated for the virus in hospital and over 36,800 active cases in the province.

Western Cape head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said that infections had yet to peak in the province. This would likely happen in the next seven to 10 days.

“Our health service capacity currently is threatened, it's under threat. We've now scaled up our health platform capacity to its maximum, to be able to cope with COVID and it potentially could be quite threatened over this coming weekend,” he said.

He added that the focus was now on protecting the health system.

Cloete said that the province was running at 110% critical care. This meant that there was no capacity for anyone who was critically ill.

“If anybody is injured this weekend because of trauma, there is no capacity to manage anybody with a serious injury this coming weekend in the critical care capacity because it's all been taken up by COVID,” Dr Cloete said.

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