Covid-19 watch continues but some Western Cape hospitals have no patients
Cape Town - As the watch continues for an increase in Covid-19 cases following the long Easter weekend, some hospitals in the Western Cape are fortunate enough to have no Covid-19 patients.
During the weekly digicon on Thursday it was revealed that while the Western Cape is recording a decline in Covid-19 hospitalisations, there are some hospitals in the province that already have zero Covid patients.
This doesn’t mean that hospitals are empty, but that healthcare workers aren’t overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases.
The metro hospitals have an average occupancy rate of 87% while the George area hospitals are at 58%. Paarl area hospitals have an average occupancy rate of 74% and Worcester hospitals at 71.
However, occupancies of Covid-19 beds in the metro are at 10%, George at 12%, Paarl is at 20% while Worcester area hospitals are at 17%.
There are currently 10 Covid-19 patients at the Brackengate Hospital of Hope, but Freesia Ward and Ward 99 at Lentegeur Hospital have no Covid-19 patients.
There are also no Covid-19 patients at Sonstraal Hospital and the Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope.
Provincial head of health, Dr Keith Cloete said: “We have started using the hospital space for other patients, while being ready to scale up if required for a third wave.”
When asked about if and when Covid-19 cases from possible Easter weekend super-spreader events would start presenting themselves, Dr Cloete said that there is a little bit of detective work needed when figuring out if people who tested positive happened to be at the same location.
“We would have expected that if something happened over the Easter weekend by Tuesday, Wednesday, today and tomorrow (Friday) people would present with symptoms.
“In this week there would be cases tested but firstly... if we pick up that there is all of a sudden a little bit more cases than normally would be expected, there is an alarm bell that would go off,” Cloete said.
“As of yesterday, our teams have not reported any suspicious (activity) - specifically linked big events over the past weekend. We can safely say that if it doesn’t happen by tomorrow, it is unlikely that there was these big (super-spreader) events last week.
“But it could be that today or tomorrow somebody put something together and then pick up a specific connection to a place where people got together over the Easter weekend,” he said.
On Wednesday, Melomed Mitchells Plain Hospital also announced that it discharged its last Covid-19 patient.
Melomed Mitchells Plain was one of the first hospitals in the country to have admitted and treated a Covid-19 patient on the 19 April 2020.
The hospital added that they are still very mindful and prepared for a potential third wave of infections that may occur.
One of the specialist doctor’s at Melomed Mitchells Plain Hospital, Dr E Danso commented: “We are delighted to have discharged the last Covid patient from the hospital for now.
“We nevertheless remind ourselves that we need to be alert and prepared at all times to ensure we offer the best service to our patients.
“We have faced and overcome significant challenges over the past year and as a result of phenomenal teamwork and support by all. As we continue the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, we remain resolutely focused on the health and safety of our patients and our medical staff,” Danso said.
“It would be remiss if | did not express deep gratitude and appreciation to all stakeholders for their ongoing support,” he said.
Chairman of Melomed, Ebrahim Bhorat, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the doctors, the staff, the patients, all healthcare workers, the government, the media and the general public for their bravery, commitment, their patience, understanding and dedication during these challenging times.
“I congratulate and salute them. We remind the public that our Melomed Hospitals are fully operational for inpatients and outpatients,” Bhorat said.