Western Cape likely to overtake Gauteng with number of COVID-19 cases

Health authorities suspect that the Western Cape will have the highest amount of COVID-19 cases in the country, in a matter of days.

Western Cape likely to overtake Gauteng with number of COVID-19 cases

The Western Cape, according to health officials, will most likely become the new COVID-19 epicentre of South Africa, in just a few days. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, on Wednesday 22 April, announced that the confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Africa rose to 3 635. It was a whopping increase of 170, as the total number of confirmed cases stood at 3 465 on Tuesday 21 April. 

Mkhize also announced a new death toll of 65 — an increase of seven. 

“Today we regrettably report seven more COVID-19 related deaths. Five of them occurred in the Western Cape and two in KwaZulu-Natal. This increases the total to 65. We express our condolences to the affected families and appreciate the health workers who treated these patients,” said Mkhize. 

Western Cape fast becoming COVID-19 epicentre

Based on the shocking COVID-19 statistics that were released on Wednesday, Western Cape health authorities suspect the province could overtake Gauteng regarding the number of infections.

On Wednesday, the Western Cape recorded a total of 1 079 confirmed cases and five new deaths. The number of deaths rose from 17 to 22. Gauteng was reported as having 1 224 cases — just 145 cases more than the Western Cape.

Head of the Western Cape Health Department Dr Keith Cloete told Cape Talk, on Thursday 23 April, that the Western Cape could overtake Gauteng with a high number of infections in the next few days. 

Provincial health authorities are expecting COVID-19 cases to increase significantly as officials ramp up active testing and contact tracing.

“We are picking up more cases and we are expecting that our cases will rise,” said Cloete. 

Cloete said the Western Cape could also become the number one province regarding the amount of COVID-19 deaths.

“In all likelihood, in the next two or three days, we will overtake Gauteng. We’re also expecting the deaths to rise. We will probably be the number one province, in terms of deaths, very soon,” he added. 

“We are increasing the number of cases. We are chasing up results, we’ve got big groups of positive cases that have come from clusters, mainly originating in a few supermarkets, factories and workplaces,” said Cloete. 

Similarities between latest WC deaths 

Cloete said the latest five deaths in the Western Cape were all high-risk patients.

They were either elderly patients or patients who suffered from comorbidities — pre-existing conditions — such as heart disease or hypertension.

“These are vulnerable people that are in contact with the virus. They are more likely to become very ill in ICU and have very little chance of survival once they get to that point,” said Cloete. 

Cloete emphasised that elderly people and people with underlying diseases face the greatest risk of falling seriously ill once they’ve contracted the virus and should, therefore, take extra safety precautions.

Source : The South African More