The Western Cape is officially experiencing an ‘established’ resurgence in COVID-19 cases, according to the provincial government, which says that an ‘urgent’ public response is required in order to protect the health system.
“A resurgence is when the number of active cases increase, week-on-week, by more than 20%,” said Premier Alan Winde on Wednesday, November 25. “Over the last week alone, the province has witnessed a 52.1% jump in new cases, with an established pattern over time.”
Winde added that the virus is spreading through communities at a faster rate, saying there is “now established community transmission again in this province.”
The increase in active cases is primarily driven by two districts in the Western Cape: the Garden Route and the Cape Metro.
The provincial government issued a hotspot alert for the Garden Route last week [November 13] after cases in the area spiked by 20%.
According to Winde, the surge in cases continues to rise and at present, there are now more active cases in George and Knysna sub-districts than at any previous point in COVID-19 pandemic.
“The City of Cape Town is following a similar trajectory to this region and looks to be about 10-14 days behind.”
In light of this, the Province will issue a hotspot alert for the Cape Metro as well.
The testing done on the City’s waste-water revealed that the number of active cases are increasing across all sub-districts and is not being driven by a specific area.
The Cape Winelands region is also an area of concern for the province as it “is starting to record a concerning number of new cases.”
“The established COVID-19 resurgence in the Western Cape is also reflected in the proportion of positive tests, which has now grown to 16%,” said Winde.
This rate of test positivity is similar to what the province experienced at the beginning of May 2020.
Fifty-four people have been hospitalised for COVID-19 in the last 24-hours, according to Winde.
He said that the number of hospitalisation in the province reached 904 yesterday. In September, it had reached a low of under 500.
“There are currently 431 people in public hospitals and 473 in private hospitals in the Western Cape. In fact, since the start of November, COVID-19 hospitalisations across the province have increased by 63%. The private sector increased by 94%, while the public sector has increased by 39%.”
Winde is particularly concerned about the massive spike in critical care admissions, which increased by 75% since the start of November, because when a patient needs this level of care it means they are gravely ill and are in danger of dying.
“We need every person in the Western Cape to help prevent a Lockdown and to ensure that there are enough empty beds in our hospitals for those who need them,” said the Premier.
“We also cannot afford a Lockdown again, as is being witnessed in many European countries right now. Our economy simply cannot afford it. A lockdown would kill jobs and cause our humanitarian disaster to worsen. This will also cost lives in the future.”
Update on the coronavirus
25 November 2020
As of 1pm on 25 November, the Western Cape has 7241 active Covid-19 infections with a total of 126 362 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 114 548 recoveries. Statement: https://t.co/9c4WBUwJH9 pic.twitter.com/iPMa9vJbfU
— Premier Alan Winde (@alanwinde) November 25, 2020