A front-line healthcare worker at the Stellenbosch Hospital, giving a Covid-19 patient medication. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA
A front-line healthcare worker at the Stellenbosch Hospital, giving a Covid-19 patient medication. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA

Western Cape’s Covid-19 cases begin to show signs of stabilising

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Cape Town - Despite hospital admissions for Covid-19 infections reaching their highest rate, the province’s infection data is starting to show signs of stabilisation according to provincial head of health Dr Keith Cloete.

Speaking during Premier Alan Winde’s weekly digital news conference, Dr Cloete said: “The stabilisation of cases, and more importantly, the drop in proportion of positive admissions are very positive signs that the second wave is stabilising.

“As always, we are hopeful, but cautious, and will continue to watch the data.

“This does not however mean that we are starting to see a decline yet and we must continue to take precautions to keep ourselves safe,” said Dr Cloete.

“Stabilisation means we are at the highest peak, but it also means that deaths have continued to increase.

“We will watch closely over the next few days to see if this changes.”

Winde said: “We’re getting there and right now we’re at the top end of the peak. Hospital beds are full because we are stabilising and my message to the public is: Don’t get sick as you’ll struggle to get a bed.

“Our department of health is working around the clock to ensure that at all times, we have an adequate supply of beds, staff, and oxygen to provide the care people need.

“Our hospitals and healthcare workers are working under extreme pressure to ensure that every person who needs a bed and care has access to one, but we all have a role to play in ensuring that we relieve that pressure.

“We must wear our masks, wash our hands, keep our distance, avoid close contact and crowded spaces. This is the right thing to do to protect ourselves, and others and to ensure that our hospitals do not reach a point where they become overwhelmed,” said Winde.

Meanwhile, Dr Cloete had good news for the Garden Route where he said: “They have passed the peak of the second wave and cases continue on a downward trajectory and deaths have stabilised.

“The West Coast shows an increase in cases and this is indicative of the area being at an earlier stage of the second wave than the other districts. The Central Karoo shows a 24% increase in cases, but this is based on small case numbers.

“Across the Metro, most subdistricts show a decline in cases except for northern and eastern, which show very slight increases in case.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said: “Our health care workers have and continue to face significant physical and emotional strain. We need to provide relief for them and their families.”

“The biggest challenge is the increasing Covid-19 infection rate amongst health care workers, and the impact on staff member isolation and quarantine.

“The availability of additional staff members for contract work and via agencies is also a significant challenge as is the number of people willing to volunteer their services which has also decreased significantly.”

Cape Argus

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