The Western Cape is struggling to meet the demands of the second wave of COVID-19, with hospital beds filling up too fast for hospitals and medical staff to cope.

Premier Alan Winde announced the Western Cape Government is attempting to help the burdened hospital and healthcare system by adding 744 beds across the province by the end of the week. 

“The Western Cape Government has done everything it can to add capacity to the system so it can cope, but it is still under extreme pressure because of the rapidly growing number of cases caused by the new variant,” he said in a statement. 

The new beds will be split between facilities across the province and the government have said they are prepared to scale this up to 880 if needed.

The following beds have been added:

–  336 beds at the Hospital of Hope (Brackengate)
– 60 beds at the Freesia Ward in Mitchell’s Plan
– 30 beds at Ward 99 in Mitchell’s Plain
– 187 beds at the Aquarius Ward in Mitchell’s Plain
– 59 beds at the Sonstraal Hospital in Drakenstein
– 72 beds in Vredendal, Hermanus and George
Winde said they are also going to bring in 136 beds in the metro area at existing facilities but this is dependent on staffing capacity. A secondary concern to beds filling up, is medical staff falling ill, leading to severe shortages at this critical time.
Another measure includes erecting tents at Khayelistha and Wesfleur Hospitals were admissions and discharges will be managed. Additional tents are also being made available at the Hospital Hope, Mitchell’s Plan, Helderberg, Eerste River and Karl Bremmer.
“Despite this additional capacity, our healthcare system, and especially our critical care wards, remain under extreme pressure,” said Winde.
“This is because a hospital bed is useless unless you have healthcare workers to staff it, and healthcare workers are already stretched thin and exhausted after this unprecedented year. That is why we all need to do everything to protect our frontline right now.”
Picture: Unsplash

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