Head of health, Dr Keith Cloete
Head of health, Dr Keith Cloete

Health service capacity under threat this weekend

By Nicola Daniels Time of article published Jul 30, 2021

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Cape Town - Law enforcement agencies will be on high alert this weekend to prevent trauma cases, as month end normally shows an increase in alcohol-related harms, putting pressure on health services.

It comes as 3 433 Covid-19 patients are currently admitted in public and private hospitals.

At the latest Covid-19 briefing on Thursday, head of health, Dr Keith Cloete said: “The health service capacity is under threat this weekend. Critical (care) is already stretched beyond capability. The recent change to adjusted level 3 allows for partial availability of alcohol sales. This coincides with an end of month weekend which, in normal circumstances, tend to see increases in trauma presentations. Since the Western Cape is currently also entering the peak of the third wave of Covid-19, the implications of this may cause significant strain to an already threatened health platform. This is outside the control of the healthcare system; it’s about what people do in their communities.”

There are currently 36 835 active infectious cases in the province - 2 345 more active cases (7%) in the last week.

Hospital admissions are at 307 new admissions per day and deaths have increased, with around 90 deaths each day.

The combined public-private oxygen utilisation was at 69.21 tons per day, 98.87 % of the maximum production capacity at the Afrox Western Cape plant.

“In the Western Cape, the total general bed use rate is at 88%, the total Covid-19 bed use rate is at 70%,” Premier Alan Winde said.

“Covid-19 patients and persons under investigation currently make up 29% of all available acute general hospital capacity in both Metro and Rural Regional Hospital drainage areas.”

Winde said the decision to move the country to Alert Level 3 was necessary to rescue the country’s economy and to save jobs, but it now means that there is an even greater responsibility on residents.

“We must act responsibly at all times. It is extremely important that every single resident take personal responsibility in protecting themselves and their loved ones during our peak,” he said.

To date, a cumulative total of 1 072 838 vaccines have been administered; of which 359 282 people have already been fully vaccinated.

Cape Times

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