WC becomes epicentre of COVID-19's third wave

29% of new infections are now in this province, compared to 27% in Gauteng.

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 on Friday became the epicentre of South Africa's COVID-19 third wave as it warned the health system was under threat this weekend.

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29% of new infections are now in this province, compared to 27% in Gauteng.

On Thursday, the provincial health department revealed there was no critical care capacity for trauma cases this weekend because those facilities were already at 110% capacity due to COVID-19.

The sale of alcohol resumed this week and in the past, it's had a direct impact on trauma cases at hospitals.

Acting Health Minister Mammoloko Kubayi echoed the warning: “This requires all of us to ensure that we do what we can to bring the number of infections and number of deaths down.”

She's also warned those who had been vaccinated to keep practicing safety measures: “Getting vaccinated does not mean you cannot get infected. It reduced the risk of you being seriously ill and from dying. Non-pharmaceutical interventions remain critical for bringing down the number of infections.”

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