Alcohol unbanning drives Western Cape trauma cases

With the Western Cape heading towards its peak, the province is seeing more daily infections, more hospital admissions and more deaths. Courtesy #DStv403

CAPE TOWN - With the Western Cape heading towards its peak, the province is seeing more daily infections, more hospital admissions and more deaths.

It now accounts for 29-percent of new COVID-19 infections, compared to 26-percent in Gauteng, which has already reached its peak and to make matters worse, the lifting of alcohol restrictions, has seen trauma admissions more than double.

While the unbanning of alcohol sales was celebrated by many, doctors and nurses were dreading it.

READ: Ramaphosa urges South Africans to get vaccinated

Within one week of relaxing the restrictions, Western Cape intensive care and high care wards are at maximum capacity

"People are moving around more so if I compare this weekend and I am looking at Friday, 8pm to midday Sunday, we had 886 trauma admissions 20 of our busiest emergency facilities across the province," said Dr. Saadiq Kariem from the Western Cape Health Department.

"If I compare this weekend to last weekend with the same time scale we had 434 admissions across the same facilities that represent a 104-percent increase in trauma admissions.”

As COVID-19 infections continue to increase, Kariem says he is confident hospitals will be able to cope with COVID-19 admissions to general wards.

"We currently have 39,000 active cases in the province. We have roughly about 2,500 new daily cases and 320 hospital admissions on a daily basis and about 100 deaths on a daily basis. And unfortunately we have reached the grim milestone of over 15,000 cumulative deaths since the start of the pandemic. Within that context our hospitals are definitely busy but we have sufficient hospital beds,"Kariem said.

READ: COVID-19 in SA: 8,791 new cases, 178 deaths

He says more field hospital beds can be commissioned.

Health Authorities are appealing to those who qualify to get vaccinated as soon as possible and those who have already been vaccinated to continue observing COVID-19 regulations.

Source
eNCA

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