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(By Robin-Lee Francke, ANA)

During a digital conference hosted by Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Thursday it was said the peak of the Covid-19 outbreak in the province would likely be “flatter, later and longer”

The Western Cape has been deemed the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa, with the health department recording 64 377 cases of Covid-19, including 44 938 recoveries and 1 896 deaths.

“Our hospitalisations (both public and private) of patients with confirmed Covid-19 have been tracking around 1 700 to 2 000 patients consistently for the last two weeks and the estimated number of deaths is tracking around 60 to 70 deaths a day, accounting for anticipated delays and under-reporting,” Winde said.

The latest provisional scenario shows the peak of the virus in the province occurring from the end of July to the beginning of August and finishing at the end of November.

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A flatter peak would help hospitals cope

The peak would also be “flatter”, meaning there might not be as many hospitalisations and deaths as originally anticipated, but the flatter trajectory could last longer, which potentially could result in about 10 000 deaths.

Professor Andrew Boulle gave evidence that the peak of the pandemic would result in the need for less bed space than the approximate initial provisioning scenario of 7 800 beds, and that the peak sourcing requirements had come down to under 5 500 beds possible at peak.

He added, however, that the Western Cape would have a high mortality rate.

“If the Western Cape were a country, compared to other countries the daily mortality due to Covid-19, by population size, would be one of the highest in the world right now.

“The most-affected sub-districts are already at 600 to 700 deaths per million while daily deaths are still climbing,” Boulle said.

Dr Keith Cloete said the province’s testing backlog had been cleared and the department would be expanding its testing.

He said there were two key focus points: unexplained deaths, where people who have died will be tested to ascertain whether they were Covid-19 positive or not, and vulnerable groups, especially those with diabetes.

Cloete said of the Covid-19 cases in the province, 5 136 of those patients had been diagnosed with diabetes, and of those, 45,7% (2 350 people) had been admitted to hospital and only 54% had recovered. Forty-five percent had died. The health department would therefore prioritise the testing of diabetes patients.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.

Author: ANA Newswire