The Western Cape is in for a rough ride over the next few weeks as it heads to the projected peak of the Delta-driven third wave of COVID-19 infections.

Third wave of COVID-19 gains momentum in Western Cape:

Some  2000 new cases are reported every day, and the figure is likely to increase to 3000 in the coming days. There are currently more than 28 000 active cases in the province, with over 23000 people hospitalised.

This comes as the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) meets tomorrow to assess developments around the COVID-19 pandemic and the country’s national response.

It will be followed by meetings of the President’s Co-ordinating Council and Cabinet.

The current combined use of oxygen now stands at 47 tons daily in the private and public sectors. Non-emergency healthcare services have been scaled back at public facilities and field hospital beds have now also been re-activated.

“Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope, which can go to 200 people has currently got 47 and Sonstraal has got 39 and we are looking at bringing additional capacity at Sonstraal as well there are other beds that still need to be triggered. We have this capacity as the need goes forward,” says  Head of the Western Cape Department of Health, Dr Keith Cloete.

Hospital admissions

Private hospital group, Mediclinic, has reported increased admissions with a high demand for beds and ICU resources in most provinces.

Meanwhile, Melomed says it is managing with the current COVID-19 admissions.

“We do have four hospitals in the Western Cape so should we reach a situation of capacity in one hospital we can always transfer to another hospital. Non-COVID-19 procedures or medical requirements are still open and then of course if there are surgeries required it will be up to the specialist doctor to confirm if they are able to accommodate for the surgery, ” says Melomed Group Marketing Manager, Shameema Adams.

Lockdown levels

Authorities are expecting an extension of the current level four restrictions.

The Western Cape government is calling for the national government to adopt a differentiated approach for managing COVID-19 across the country and within provinces.

Premier Alan Winde says the differentiated approach will provide a balance between saving lives and saving livelihoods.

“I cannot believe that we have a one size fits all for the whole of South Africa where KZN is not even in a third wave technically as yet, and of course Gauteng at the peak. The Western Cape now climbing we need to make sure that we are dealing with the balance correctly between regions across our province and across our country.”

The province is expected to reach the peak of infections by the end of July and the first week in August.

Latest COVID-19 stats: