Wednesday, 23 December 2020 16:28

Staff Reporter.

File Photo.

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says the rate of Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations is finally decreasing in the Garden Route after the district experienced a peak which was double the height of its first peak.

"A similar pattern is currently emerging in the metro, which is moving rapidly now toward its second peak, which should arrive within the next two weeks to a month," he said.

"If this pattern of the second peak in the metro being double the first is borne out, we can expect to see upward of 90 residents per day passing away due to the virus in this one district alone.

Winde said that data collected since March that for every person that passes away, 25 residents will land up in a hospital bed, often requiring life-saving intervention to survive.

"This means we are likely to need at least an additional 500 beds in the metro on top of what we currently have, and more crucially, the healthcare workers to provide care at these beds."

He said that the situation in the province’s healthcare facilities is further exacerbated by residents consuming more liquor over the festive season.

Despite the liquor restrictions introduced by the national government in the past few weeks, we have seen a minimal levelling off of the trauma case load burden experienced at key hospitals, which means that our healthcare workers are facing this additional strain.

National Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, is visiting the Western Cape to receive an update on our current Covid-19 figures and on our healthcare platform.

"This data, along with the data of other provinces facing strain, will form the basis of his feedback to the National Coronavirus Command Council, which constantly reassesses whether current interventions are adequate to deal with the virus and protect our health system – and its employees – from collapsing, "he said.

Total active infections in the Western Cape currently stand at 34,694, 61% higher than the first peak. The highest single-day increase in cases at the first peak was 2,158 (29 June 2020), but the most recent high has been 4,508 (108% higher).

Currently, 2,691 patients are in hospital, and 316 patients in ICU – the highest number since Covid-19 first hit the province.