Mediclinic Southern Africa says its admissions data shows that 25% of current patients with COVID-19 have been vaccinated.

Chief Clinical Officer at Mediclinic Southern Africa Dr Gerrit De Villiers says data shows that a fourth wave has started in Gauteng and is moving into the Western Cape.

The current wave has not yet had a marked impact on Mediclinic facilities within these regions.

He says currently, more cases are coming through its Emergency Centres but only a few require admission for further care.

Patients in this wave include children under the age of 12 years, which is significant in comparison to the previous three waves.

These younger patients are overall not critically ill.

De Villiers says hospital bed capacity remains fluid and where possible, measures are also in place to further increase capacity in preparation for the fourth wave.

Earlier this week, the South African Medical Association (SAMA) called on all provincial health departments to ensure that they are prepared for a rise in COVID-19-related hospitalisations as the fourth wave hits the country.

SAMA’s Vice Chairperson Dr Mvuyisi Mzukwa says, “It is time for the departments to plan and make sure that they prepare for the fourth wave because it didn’t come as a surprise. It was always announced by the experts that in December the fourth wave is coming, it was a known secret.”

“We expect the provinces to be ready, but I am afraid if I look at some of the provinces, I don’t think we are ready for the fourth wave unless I can be proven wrong.”

Mzukwa has warned that there is the possibility that hospitals could be overburdened by COVID-19 admissions over the festive season.

More children admitted with COVID-19 symptoms to hospitals: Prof Rudo Mathivha