File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Rise in hospitalisations, deaths emulating previous Covid-19 peaks in Western Cape

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jul 29, 2021

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Cape Town – Similar to the previous two waves of Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape, while the number of cases appears to be flattening, fatalities are increasing.

The Covid-19 death toll in the Western Cape rose to 14 800 yesterday, with the province averaging 90 deaths daily and the number of burials increasing at City of Cape Town cemeteries.

When it comes to the number of new cases, the Western Cape (27%) is edging closer to Gauteng (30%). There are 34 324 active cases in the Western Cape and of the 3 421 hospitalisations, 709 are in high care or ICU.

According to Dr Keith Cloete, head of health in the Western Cape, there is still a rise in oxygen use, hospitalisations and daily deaths as the third wave peak flattens, a similar occurrence across the three waves.

The Garden Route District has experienced a 29% increase in new Covid-19 cases. The total number of positive patients for the district on Monday was 48 297 (a week ago it was 45 017), with 922 active cases per 100 000 (a week ago it was 830.) There are now a total of 1 706 deaths, an increase of 97 since last week.

In the last seven-day reporting period, a total of 638 burials were completed at City of Cape Town cemeteries, up from 488 the week before.

Of these, 215 burials took place at Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park, 130 at Maitland cemetery, 103 at Wallacedene and 74 burials at Welmoed cemetery.

Mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien said: ’’What we are experiencing now is similar to the previous two waves of Covid-19 infections, when fatalities increased sharply.

’’The City has sufficient capacity to accommodate burials, but if one considers the number of burials at Klip Road in the past week, that equates to an average of 30 a day, which means a lot of foot traffic in and out of the cemetery, increased risk of close contact and increased pressure on staff to manage the situation.

’’We therefore need a collective effort to ensure that we are able to manage the situation effectively, and in the best interests of public health and safety.’’

In the last week, the Maitland Crematorium completed 84 cremations, while 32 others were transferred to private crematoria while maintenance work on one of the cremators at Maitland was being finalised.

Cemetery visits will likely resume from August 10, dependent on a reduction in the Covid-19 caseload. This is to ensure that cemetery operations can focus on the increase in burials currently being experienced.

’’It is important that we all continue to abide by the health and safety protocols that have become a part of life since the start of this pandemic. This also applies to those who have been vaccinated,’’ Badroodien said.

’’Remember, the vaccination reduces the risk of serious illness, but does not mean that you cannot contract Covid-19 and infect others, so the same rules still apply to everyone, vaccinated or not.

’’As the vaccination campaign extends to other age groups, I also want to renew my appeal to those who have qualified, but who have not yet registered, to please do so. The more people we vaccinate, and the quicker we do it, the sooner we can achieve population immunity and free ourselves from this pandemic.’’


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