Western Cape Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Western Cape Head of Health Dr Keith Cloete. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Dr Cloete: We are accelerating towards the peak of third wave

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jul 16, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape is accelerating towards the peak of the third wave with increased hospitalisations and a significant rise in deaths recorded in the last 10 days, according to provincial head of health, Dr Keith Cloete.

Speaking during his presentation at Western Cape Premier Alan Winde’s weekly digicon on the health platform and vaccine rollout strategy, Dr Cloete said: “The current average number of deaths in the Western Cape has increased to about 60 per day. It is expected to start rising steeply as the province approaches the peak of the third wave.”

“Across the province case numbers are continuing to increase; we are currently seeing an average of 2 335 new diagnoses each day. During the second wave’s peak, the figure was 3 060 cases per day.

“Hospital admissions are increasing with an average of 280 new admissions per day. Deaths have also increased now, with around 60 deaths each day.”

Specifically in the metro, there has been a 21% week on week increase in cases with most sub-districts seeing increases in cases, except the Eastern sub-district, which may be starting to plateau.

Cloete explained that the plateauing could be due to data or operational delays and said the department would be monitoring the data closely to see if the pattern is sustained.

Winde gave a positive response to the vaccination rollout now including a younger age cohort. He said: “I am excited to see that from today, registrations are open to those in the 35-49 year age bracket and that from August 1, we will begin to schedule vaccinations for them.

“At this stage, I want to encourage those in the 35+ age bracket to wait for their appointment SMSs. This is because we still have many people in the 50+ and 60+ bracket to vaccinate.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the taxi violence in the province was affecting the focus on Covid-19 cases.

“The team at Groote Schuur indicated that in the 24 hours that surrounded Tuesday’s taxi violence they saw and had to treat about 10 gunshot injuries. Some of the injured required emergency surgery.

“In as much as we are trying to de-escalate non-Covid-19 services, this sort of thing impacts the whole health system,” said Mbombo.

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