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WCHD's Saadiq Kariem: 'Difficult to predict Covid-19 2nd wave peak in Cape Town'

24 December 2020 11:12 AM
Tags:
Western Cape Health
COVID-19 second wave
Covid-19 second wave peak
hospital capacity

Chief of operations at Western Cape Department of Health Saadiq Kariem outlines the current situation.

The Covid-19 peak of the second wave in Cape Town is predicted to be about two to three weeks away but hospitals are already at 100% capacity according to reports.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of operations at Western Cape Department of Health talks to Zain Johnson about the latest situation and what to expect.

He gives an update on the Covid-19 infection in the Western Cape.

Yesterday, we had over 4000 new cases recorded. This is the second-highest daily figure recorded ever, even surpassing the peak of the first wave, putting pressure on the hospital platform.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Health Department

It is rising exponentially with a massive snowballing effect, he notes.

There are currently 37,000 active cases in the province.

In the last two weeks, we recorded around 1000 deaths, and if you remember, it took us virtually 8 or 9 months to get to the previous height which was a total of around 4000 deaths.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Health Department

It is always difficult to predict it [the Covid-19 peak]. It is at best an inaccurate science in terms of predictions and modelling but all I can say at this stage is that the rise is still exponentially increasing.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Health Department

As of late last night, we had 2049 patients admitted across our public and private sector hospitals.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Health Department

He notes there is also a very high turnover of patients.

He says as of Thursday morning the number of health care workers with the virus has risen about the 761 already reported as more cases have been confirmed.

Last week alone we had 495 health care workers who tested positive.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Health Department

This of course adds pressure to the service platform, he says.

Kariem says WCHD wants to bring additional hospital beds online in both metropole and rural areas, but the CTICC field hospital will not be reopened.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is always a challenge but he says they currently do have enough gowns, aprons, and other PPE.

What is in short supply is the specialed masks called the N95 respirators and I believe there is a global shortage of gloves creeping in. You have to watch the supplies carefully.

Saadiq Kariem, Chief of Operations - Western Cape Health Department

Oxygen supplies are sufficient for now, but he says there has been a huge demand at the moment. WCHD has been liasing with oxygen suppliers and has a plan in place for more supplies should they be needed.

Sanitiser supplies are sufficient currently, he notes.

He says the key issue remains the behavior of people and despite it being the festive season he urges South Africans to be careful and take all precautions.

Listen to the interview below:




24 December 2020 11:12 AM
Tags:
Western Cape Health
COVID-19 second wave
Covid-19 second wave peak
hospital capacity

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