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“Gentle easing of pressure” on hospitals in the WCape

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The Western Cape Department of Health says early indications are that pressure is easing on hospitals in the province. During a digital media briefing today, officials said they are noticing a decline in COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths, which is less than what was projected by epidemiologists. According to the National COVID-19 Epi model, there would have been a steady rise in the rate of daily Covid-19 deaths until the end of July.

In the Western Cape, hospital admissions for Covid-19 have stabilised over the last 10 days, across public and private hospitals. The critical care bed occupancy rate reached a daily maximum of 320 patients. It is currently at 270-280 patients. The total of Covid-19 admissions reached a daily maximum of 1900 patients, and now currently stands at 1600-1700 patients.

“We are working with the risk scenario that potentially we could still have an increase in death and hospitalisation. What we seeing in real terms, is that the projection is not playing itself out. There seems to be slowing, but we don’t want to proclaim to early that we definitely on the decline,” said department head Dr Keith Cloete.

“We want to monitor, track and be vigilant so that if there’s an upswing, we still have the capacity to deal with it. Whether we are over the peak, that’s something we want to monitor for a longer period of time. We will rather be conservative and prepared for any eventuality. It’s so important for us to stay on top of this.”

In the Cape Metropole, the most populous district in the Western Cape and which accounts for the sub-districts with the most infections, the acute care hospital capacity, including all patients (Covid-19 and non Covid-19) is as follows:

 

Dr Cloete said the Western Cape’s intermediate care facilities or “field hospitals” have provided enormous support in alleviating this pressure:

  • The Hospital of Hope has admitted 1069 patients over time, as of 14 July 2020, and has discharged 751 people since opening.
  • The Thusong Centre in Khayelitsha has admitted 198 patients and discharged a total of 138 patients so far.
  • The 330-bed Brackengate Field Hospital is set to come online on 20th July.
  • The Sonstraal Hospital, which will have a total capacity of 150 beds, is expecting the first 63 beds online soon.
  • Additional beds will be provided in Hermanus (32 beds), Vredendal (20 beds) and George (20 beds).

 


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