South Africa’s coronavirus epicentre is nearing its peak

South Africa’s Covid-19 epicentre “will experience its peak soon”, according to Western Cape premier, Alan Winde, citing epidemiological models.

As the country closes in on another coronavirus related milestone of 100,000 infections this week, the Western Cape, and Cape Town specifically, continues to be hardest hit.

Already, that region has surpassed 50,000 infections, more than half of the country’s total (52.9%), while the region accounts for 1,419 out of 1,930 total deaths to date.

On Sunday evening, the Western Cape accounted for 27 new deaths over a 24-hour period. Total active cases – currently infected patients – stands at 13,109, and encouragingly, the region reports 35,559 recoveries.

Preparing for the peak

“Some epidemiological models, including the National Covid-19 Epi Model (NCEM) which is relied on by the national government for forecasting, have estimated that the province will experience its peak soon.

“While we cannot pinpoint the exact date at which we will reach this peak, we are experiencing increased pressure in our hospitals,” Winde said.

“At the same time, the economy is opening up further, with personal care services re-opening this weekend and other sectors expected to open soon. Now is therefore the time to be extra vigilant to slow the spread,” he said.

National cases

On Sunday evening, health minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize noted that the cumulative number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country is 97,302.

Winde urged the elderly in the province, to continue to be cautious.

“If you are over the age of 55 or you have an underlying illness, you are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill or dying.

“It is therefore important that you take extra precautions and stay home wherever possible.

“Those who are healthy should assist those at higher risk with tasks like shopping or errands that require them to leave the house.

“Our data however has shown that age and underlying including diabetes and high blood pressure present the greatest risk for becoming seriously ill or dying,” the premier said.

Hotspots

The City of Cape Town accounts for more than 39,000 total infections, with Tygerberg, Khayelitsha and and Klipfontein making  up more than half of that total.


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South Africa’s coronavirus epicentre is nearing its peak