Covid-19: Western Cape cases showing signs of 'some flattening'

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Dr Keith Cloete.
Dr Keith Cloete.
Brenton Geach/Gallo Images
  • Covid-19 cases in the Western Cape appear to be flattening.
  • However, hospitalisation and death rates are still increasing.
  • The province could reach the peak of its third wave in the next few weeks.

Covid-19 cases in the Western Cape appear to be reaching a plateau, although hospitalisation numbers and deaths continue to climb in the province.

In addition, recent modelling shows the province could reach the peak of the third wave between now and early August.

In a digital briefing on Thursday, Western Cape Department of Health head Dr Keith Cloete said health officials had noticed "some flattening" in the number of cases recorded week-on-week.

This week, there was a 3.2% week-on-week increase in cases – significantly lower than in previous weeks, Cloete said.

However, he cautioned that the lower numbers could be a result of decreased testing in the province.

"Case numbers appear to have flattened," Cloete said.

"The concern is that testing has decreased, due to a range of factors, including taxi violence, so it is unclear whether we have reached the peak of this wave."

The province has been recording an average of 2 345 new diagnoses each day. There are currently 32 730 active infectious cases in the province, increasing by 1 358 (4.3%) in the last week.

READ HERE | 74 people on average dying of Covid-19 per day in Western Cape

Admissions are increasing, with an average of 330 new ones per day. Deaths have also increased, with around 82 fatalities each day. There are currently 3 010 patients admitted with Covid-19.

Cloete says the rise of hospitalisations and deaths are in line with what was experienced in previous waves, in that they tend to increase only a week or two after an increase in infections is recorded.

Based on modelling received earlier this week, the department expected the third wave to peak sometime between now and early August.

READ | Covid-19: Hospital admissions increase to 320 new patients per day in Western Cape

The modelling suggested that the Western Cape could experience a peak with similar or fewer admissions than second wave. There is a 73% probability of the Western Cape having passed the peak, but there was still uncertainty, as case numbers could be affected by unrest and limited testing, Cloete said.

"We are experiencing a flattening of the third wave, but we urge everyone to adhere strictly to protective behaviours, as a key drive to contain it. We will monitor the third wave over the coming weeks."

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