PODCAST | The Story: Covid-19 third wave gains momentum as Western Cape braces for worst

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  • Just over 2 000 new Covid-19 cases are being recorded per day in the Western Cape - the second highest rate of infections in the country. 
  • Dr Keith Cloete, head of the Western Cape health department, said there were currently about 24 000 active cases in the province. 
  • There has been a rapid increase in hospitalisations with about 150 to 170 hospital admissions per day.

The Western Cape is in the grip of a third wave which is expected to peak in three to four weeks time. The latest wave of infections is being fuelled by the highly transmissible Delta variant - which has been predominant in all samples tested here.

Deaths in the province have also increased to approximately 35 a day. This week on The Story we speak to Dr Keith Cloete, head of the Western Cape health department about the strategies that have been implemented in the province as it braces for impact. 

He told News24 additional field hospital capacity has been brought online, additional staffing, and additional oxygen points.  

READ | Covid-19: Gauteng approaching peak, says provincial government

He said while Gauteng did not have to deal with a massive upsurge of infections in the second wave, the Western Cape did, and was able to learn from that.

About 500 000 people have been vaccinated in the province so far. A mass vaccination centre, the CTICC, has also been opened and authorities hope to vaccinate over 100 000 people per week. 

We also sit down with News24 investigative journalist Kyle Cowan who breaks down some rather alarming statistics.

He warns that the only way to stem the tide of infections is for South Africans to adhere to regulations.

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