COVID-19: Oxygen demand increases in the Western Cape

Johannesburg –

The Western Cape has had to deliver more oxygen to Knysna on the Garden Route, where 30 COVID-19 patients need support to breathe.

According to Premier Alan Winde, the daily use of oxygen has more than doubled during the resurgence with active cases standing at 15 986.

“COVID-19 is serious, especially for our vulnerable residents who are at highest risk,” Winde warned.

He once again pleaded with residents to take precautions so that they do not end up needing oxygen in hospitals.

Winde said the additional bulk order oxygen at Knysna Provincial Hospital is because of 31 COVID-19 patients of which 30 are on oxygen support.

Meanwhile, the medical manager of Knysna and Bitou sub-districts, Dr Andries Brink, is asking the public to do their part in limiting exposure to the virus.

“Please adhere to the rules, wear your mask, and limit exposure through limited interaction with others,” Brink added.

Second wave

Meanwhile, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is urging South Africans to take precautionary measures.

“South Africa as a whole now meets the requirements for a second wave, according to the South African COVID-19 Modelling Consortium (SACMC) assessment,” the NICD said.

The institute has defined the resurgence as a new wave lasting one or more days, commencing after the “end of the first”.

“It furthermore refers to an occurrence, after the previous peak, where the caseload returns to at least 30% of the previous peak’s caseload.”

The NICD is pleading with the public not to become complacent and let their guard down by failing to follow the requisite preventive measures properly.

“As we head into the holiday season, everyone has a part to play. It’s in our hands. We urge the public to avoid mass meetings or events where there is no or limited physical distancing or ventilation. We urge you to keep physical distancing, use face masks in public, and regularly sanitise or wash hands,” said NICD Acting Executive Director, Professor Adrian Puren.

The NICD is also encouraging the public to contact their nearest medical practitioner immediately if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms.

Super-spreader events

On Wednesday, Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, announced that South Africa has officially entered the second wave of infections, with 6 709 new COVID-19 cases reported.

The Minister said super-spreader events such as Ballito Rage attended by matrics over the weekend have a “spillover” effect to the rest of entire country, as this age group is highly mobile, while the majority of them are asymptomatic.

Mkhize said four provinces are currently leading the pack, with the Western Cape recording the highest number of new cases at 30%, while the infections have peaked by 24% in the Eastern Cape, 23% in KwaZulu-Natal and 17% in Gauteng.

The Free State, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the North West accounted for 1% of new cases each, while the Northern Cape contributed to only less than 1%.

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