Graphic supplied by the Western Cape Provincial Government
Graphic supplied by the Western Cape Provincial Government

19 more Covid-19 deaths in the Western Cape

By Vernon Pillay Time of article published May 23, 2020

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Cape Town - The Western Cape has recorded 19 more Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus in the province to 267, according to Premier Alan Winde.

As of 1pm on May 23, the Western Cape had 6146 active cases of Covid-19, with a total of 12 947 confirmed cases and 6 525 recoveries. 

A total of 114 869 tests have been conducted at both private and public facilities in the province to date.

Hospitalisation:

The Western Cape is seeing an increase in the number of patients being hospitalised due to the virus as the province moves towards the peak of the infection. 

By Friday 557 patients were being treated in hospital, with 154 of these in intensive care units (ICU) or high care. 

The province says its hospital system is able to cope with the demand for beds at this time.

Graphic supplied by the Western Cape Provincial Government

"In our preparedness planning, the province has taken into account all of the available beds in both the public and the private sector.Our existing public sector capacity can provide 2162 acute beds, which includes 658 additional beds created through expansion," Winde said. 

Graphic supplied by the Western Cape Provincial Government

"We are also bringing online 1428 additional intermediate care beds in our temporary or "field hospitals" in the Western Cape. Construction on the hospital facility at the CTICC, which will provide 850 of these beds, is well underway and on track for completion in the first week of June. Another 330 beds will be made available at a temporary hospital at Brakengate, 150 at the Cape Winelands Sonstraal Hospital, 68 at the Khayelitsha Thusong Centre, and 30 additional beds at Tygerberg hospital.

"In the critical care space (ICU and high care), we will reach a total of 850 ICU beds in the province, the majority of which already exist. We currently have 150 existing beds at public healthcare facilities. An additional 100 beds are being added. We have also arranged to purchase 300 ICU beds from the private sector for public sector patients. The private sector also has an additional 300 ICU beds available in addition to these."

Winde has again stressed that every resident must play their part to reduce infections, and more specifically to protect the vulnerable who are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill. 

"As we have indicated before, even in the best case scenario, and with both private and public beds, we will fall short of ICU beds.This requires us to take stock of our behaviour and look at ways in which we can make changes to help flatten the curve and reduce the risk of transmission. This includes staying home as much as possible, especially if you are over 60 or have an underlying illness. When leaving home, hygiene measures such as washing or sanitizing your hands, not touching your face and keeping your distance from other people are highly important. Wearing a clean, cloth mask should not replace these behaviours, but they should all be used together, for maximum effectiveness."

* The discrepancy in the national figures and those released by the Western Cape government is due to the different cut-off times for provincial and national reporting of covid-19 statistics.

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