Second Covid-19 wave in full swing in South Africa as hospitals report capacity strain

Health minister Dr Zweli Mkhize reported 9,445 new cases on Sunday evening (20 December), and 152 new deaths over the past 24 hours, as the virus continues its second wave of infection.

It follows 10,939 new virus cases and 254 more deaths in the country on Saturday, the Health Department said.

“As of today, the total number of confirmed #Covid-19 cases is 921,922, the total number of deaths is 24,691 and the total number of recoveries is 793,914, the minister said in a post on social media.

“Regrettably, 152 more Covid-19 related deaths have been reported: Eastern Cape 105 , Free State 5, Gauteng 1, Kwa-Zulu Natal 8, Mpumalanga 3 and Western Cape 30,” he said.

Mediclinic International said it’s struggling with capacity constraints as the country experiences a second wave of coronavirus infections, Bloomberg reported.

Patients seeking care within Mediclinic hospitals are exceeding previous numbers during the first peak, Gerrit de Villiers, a group general manager said in a statement. Demand in many intensive care and high care units have reached capacity, the company said.

Mediclinic said coronavirus patients had climbed from less than 100 admissions to more than 500 in a month in its facilities across the Western Cape.

“This dramatic increase in numbers within the Western Cape has placed very heavy strain on available healthcare resources including staff, equipment and available beds to provide intensive treatment for seriously ill patients,” it said. Elective or non-emergency surgery has been cancelled.

Mediclinic said it is increasing beds available to Covid-19 patients and reallocating resources.

The Western Cape pointed to a spike in new cases over the past week. “Over the last 7 days the Cape Metro has seen a 87% increase in Covid-19 cases, with Mitchells Plain recording a 101% increase, and Eastern subdistricts 97% increase, The Western Cape Government said.


Read: What happens when Covid-19 vaccines become available in South Africa?

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Second Covid-19 wave in full swing in South Africa as hospitals report capacity strain