Covid-19 in Western Cape: Possible decline, but 'too early to say the worst is over', says Winde

Western Cape premier, Alan Winde. (Malherbe Nienaber/Netwerk24)
Western Cape premier, Alan Winde. (Malherbe Nienaber/Netwerk24)
  • Hospitalisations and deaths due to Covid-19 seem to be stabilising and possibly declining.
  • But Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said it was "simply too early to say the worst is over".
  • He said residents should remain vigilant.

There are early indications of an easing of Covid-19 in the Western Cape, but it is too early to take the foot off the pedal, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde said on Thursday.

Winde said this at his weekly "digicon", which is hosted on Thursdays to update the public on the province.

"... I can reveal that we are starting to see a gentle easing of pressure in the Metro in particular, with a possible decline," he told journalists during a media briefing.

"But let me be crystal clear: It is simply too early to say the worst is over. We simply do not know enough about the virus to claim so. We are still in the midst of a serious health pandemic."

READ | South Africa tops 300 000 confirmed Covid-19 cases

Winde, who was recently diagnosed with the virus, said it was now more important than ever to be vigilant.

The province's health department head, Dr Keith Cloete, had on Wednesday briefed the Western Cape legislature on their response to the disease.

"It is early days, but really looking like hospitalisation and deaths are stabilising and even potentially showing an early decline in the Western Cape," he told the provincial ad hoc committee on Covid-19.

Cloete said on Thursday that critical care bed occupancy was currently at 270-280 patients, down from a daily maximum of 320 patients.

The total Covid-19 admissions had reached a daily maximum of 1 900 patients at one point, but were currently between 1 600 and 1 700 patients.

Winde said they would start scaling up their non-Covid health services from 1 August, which had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

These included chronic disease management, HIV and TB management, and child and women's health services.

There would also be a systematic reintroduction and scaling up of elective surgery over the next eight months, considering the reality of Covid-19 over the next 12 to 18 months.

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