WC and KZN to use second wave experience to better deal with third wave

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Jun 17, 2021

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THE Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal province say they will use the lessons learnt from the second wave to be better equipped to survive the country’s surge in Covid-19 infections.

So far it is only the Northern Cape, Free State, North West and Gauteng Provinces which are officially in a third wave, but the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) says they are seeing sustained increases in the number of cases, across all provinces.

In the latest statistics, the NICD said that 13 246 new cases had been recorded at a positivity rate of 21.7%. The majority of cases reported were from Gauteng (59.3%).

With the Western Cape having over 7 000 active Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations standing at over 1 000 with 257 patients currently being treated in ICU, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said the province was ready to deal with the third wave, as there were more than five private hospitals currently on standby in case they might need extra beds and ICU.

“We still have some of the systems that we had in the second wave, which are guaranteed and functional. Our field hospital beds are still there and for critical care spaces, we have more than five private hospitals on standby. Our numbers do show that we don’t have a high level of healthcare workers infected,” she said.

The Garden Route district has been hit with a 110% rise in new Covid-19 cases over just the last seven days. Data showed that Mossel Bay had the most active Covid-19 cases, with 282 people diagnosed with the virus.

Meanwhile, KZN health MEC, Nomagugu Simelane, says the province started preparing for the third wave, right after the second wave.

“We believe we are ready because we don’t need to commission anything new, our facilities and human resources are ready. We learnt from the second wave not to decommission all our field hospitals.We already have four field hospitals and we continue to utilise some for vaccination,” she said.

Simelane also added that so far, they hadn't needed any extra beds and they were still using the beds in the existing facilities.

KwaZulu-Natal Province ranks the fourth highest province in terms of fatalities countrywide, after Eastern Cape, Gauteng and Western Cape.

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