Health Platform Update – 11 December 2020 | Western Cape Government


Health Platform Update – 11 December 2020

11 December 2020

2020 has been a tough year for us all. Usually, when we reach this time of the year, we look forward to enjoying some time with friends and family. However, if we do not all play our part in keeping each other safe we could be the reason someone close to us may not be able to enjoy (or survive) the holidays.

Now is the time for everyone to pull together and protect each one another. COVID-19 is not gone, it is still dangerous, and it still kills our mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts. – and healthcare workers (the ones meant to look after us when we are sick). It is dangerous, yet so preventable.

The decision to adhere to the required prevention behaviour has a direct influence on the health response and platform. As the Health Platform for 10 December 2020 shows, we all need to take COVID-19 seriously. Over the last week (3-10 December):

  • 12 569 more people were infected (bringing the total number of active cases to 18 296)
  • 1 154 people were required to be admitted to hospital (bringing the total people currently in hospital to 1 729)
  • 274 people died (bringing the total deaths to almost 5000) – 5000 of Western Cape’s mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles and uncles.
  • 245 healthcare workers were infected, bringing the current active cases amongst healthcare workers to 365
  • In total, 5 528 healthcare workers have been infected with 5 111 having recovered but we have also experienced 52 deaths

These stats represent the hard-hitting truth which the health platform must deal with daily. While we have 7 366 public sector hospital beds in the Western Cape, 450 field hospital beds and 249 non-COVID and 135 COVID critical care beds – it will become more difficult to provide quality care to patients if we do not protect one other. The required beds, staff and care are a precious resource. We must all protect that resource by keeping up our caution and prevention behaviour.

In addition to the COVID-pandemic, and, as we move towards the Festive Season, we will encounter a second pandemic – an increase in alcohol-related trauma cases. The increase in trauma cases can mean less beds to treat COVID-patients.

Further pressure on the health platform:

Over the month of November, COVID-19 admissions have increased by 409% and continues to increase as we continue with the resurgence. In the same context, trauma admissions have increased to 36.2%. One of the main drivers of this continues to be the abuse of alcohol.

Being intoxicated also leads to letting our guard down – making it so much easier for COVID-19 to attack us. By drinking and acting responsible you

  • Protect yourself and others
  • Avoid accidents
  • Do not become complacent. Keep your mask on

Keep the following in mind when socialising this Festive Season:

COVID-19 is in the air! But it is so easy to protect ourselves and others:

  • Always wear a mask when we go out
  • Avoid crowded places, confined spaces with poor ventilation and close contact
  • Stay home if sick and arrange a test – isolate while you wait for your results
  • Be careful about sharing your “air space” by avoiding crowds where you cannot keep 1.5m distance
  • Having people over? Limit the size of your get-together (more people = more risk) and Keep them short (longer = more risk)

If we all play our part by doing simple things, we protect one another and thus contain the spread of COVID-19. Our behaviour matters!