‘There's no capacity for anyone who's critically ill’ – WC Health Dept

The Western Cape government has pleaded with the public to be responsible this weekend as critical care hospital beds were running out.

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 – The Western Cape government has pleaded with the public to be responsible this weekend as critical care hospital beds were running out.

While new COVID-19 cases were plateauing, the provincial Health Department said that it was still seeing an increase in hospitalisations and deaths across the province.

The province's health system is under severe pressure.

Head of the provincial Health Department, Dr Keith Cloete said: “We are running at 110% critical care beds, so there is no capacity for anybody that is critically ill. The point where we start really getting worried is that 30% of all patients in the public sector are all currently COVID.”

He said that the challenge now was the adjusted level 3 of the lockdown and with the weekend upon us, and the liquor sales ban lifted, it's feared that trauma wards will fill up.

“With alcohol restrictions lifted during the week, and more alcohol availability at the same time as the healthcare system being at its maximum capacity, there will possibly be significant implications for the system.”

MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz said he was in contact with the province's provincial commissioner, who assured him extra policing would be deployed to monitor lockdown compliance.

WATCH: COVID-19 update: Western Cape infections on the rise

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