The Western Cape has the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country once again. This week the province breached the 3000-mark for the first time during the second wave when it added 3233 new cases on December 16, according to Dr Zweli Mkhize.

“Our daily cases are growing exponentially,” said Mkhize. The test positivity rate on December 16 sat at 21%, which is well above the ideal positivity rate of 10%.

There was a slight decrease in new cases the following day [December 17] when the province added 2773 new cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 27 344.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the Western Cape has recorded 163 134 confirmed positive cases.

Update on the coronavirus
17 December 2020

As of 1pm on 17 December, the Western Cape has 27 344 active cases of…

Posted by Premier Alan Winde on Thursday, December 17, 2020

The healthcare system in the Western Cape is strained, as 2032 of the patients currently infected are in hospital. There are 287 people in an intensive care unit (ICU) or receiving high care.

Our hospitals in the province currently have 2000 people across public and private hospitals,” said Western Cape Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, according to EWN.

“That means  if you have anything else wrong with you over this coming couple of weeks, a heart attack, a stroke, or anything, it’s going to be very difficult for you to access healthcare.”

Cloete said hospitals in the province’s metro currently operate at an average occupancy rate of 78%, while rural hospitals are fuller, operating at an occupancy rate of 91%.

To meet the demand and ease the pressure on the healthcare system, the province will add extra hospital beds to existing facilities and set up field hospitals – this is the same approach it took during the first peak of infections.

An additional 59 people died due to COVID-19 complications on December 17, bringing the total number of COVID related deaths in the province to 5292.

“We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time,” said Premier Alan Winde.

Picture: Wikimedia Commons

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