The Western Cape Department of Health is calling on all unemployed nurses in the province to apply for short term contracts to assist in the fight against the coronavirus amid the second wave.

In a statement, the Department of Health said that they are offering short term contract appointments to any unemployed nurses.

If you are qualified and available, please apply on the coronavirus website:

Speaking during his weekly digi-conference, Premier Alan Winde expressed how dire the situation is in hospitals across the province.

“Earlier this week, every district within the Western Cape exceeded the number of Covid-19 infections experienced in the first wave, suggesting that the second wave of the virus will be significantly larger than the first. While there are signs of slowing in the Garden Route, the Cape Town metro, and thereafter the other districts, are set to face unprecedented case numbers over the coming weeks,” he said.

“There are now clear indications that the second wave has been exacerbated by a new variant of Covid-19, called 501.V2, which has shown to be far more infectious than the initial strain which marked the first wave. Due to this new strain, we expect our R(t) – which is the effective reproductive number of the virus (how many residents each positive person likely infects) to increase – meaning that the peak of our curve, and how quickly it goes up, are both likely to be higher.

“To put it simply – over the next few weeks we expect to see our healthcare system placed under enormous strain, at a time when more beds will be needed than ever before.”

Total active infections in the Western Cape currently stand at 34 694, which is 61% higher than the first peak. The highest single day increase in cases at the first peak was 2158 (29 June 2020), but our most recent high has been 4508, amounting to 108% higher.

Currently, 2691 patients are in hospital, and 316 patients in ICU – the highest number since Covid-19 hit the province.

The country recently surpassed the 25 000 death mark. As of December 22, there have been 25 246 COVID-19-related deaths in the country. A cumulative total of 940 212 cases of COVID-19 have been identified. Our recoveries now stand at 808 241.

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