18 June 2020
As of 1pm on 18 June, the Western Cape has 12 722 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 46951 confirmed cases and 32953 recoveries.
|Total confirmed COVID-19 cases||46951|
|Total active cases (currently infected patients)||12722|
|Hospitalisations||1470 with 248 in ICU or high care|
Sub Districts Cape Town Metro:
|Garden Route||Mossel Bay||79||36|
|Cape Winelands||Breede Valley||920||531|
|West Coast||Saldanha Bay Municipality||359||182|
|Central Karoo||Beaufort West||2||2|
Unallocated: 3526 (1753 recoverd)
More data is available here: https://coronavirus.westerncape.gov.za/covid-19-dashboard
The Western Cape has recorded an additional 71 deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 1276. We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.
During our weekly digicon today, public health specialist with the Department of Health, Professor Mary-Ann Davies presented her findings on how COVID-19 impacts people living with HIV, TB and other comorbidities.
These findings are important because while we have good data coming from other countries around comorbidities, there was little data around whether HIV and TB presented increased risk. The findings have revealed that while these two comorbidites do present slightly increased risk, the impact is small compared to the risks associated with old age and other illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Using data available in the public sector for comorbidities, she has determined that for every 100 COVID-19 deaths in the public sector:
-52 deaths can be attributed to diabetes
-19 can be attributed to high blood pressure
-12 can be attributed to HIV
-9 can be attributed to kidney disease
-6 can be attributed to TB (2 to current TB and 4 to previous TB).
The Western Cape Department of Health was notified today that all samples currently being processed at the National Health Laboratory Services labs in the Western Cape have been received in the past 48 hours. This means that the backlog in testing, which reached up to 27 000 tests at its worst, has now been completely cleared. We will continue to track the situation to determine whether the NHLS can continue to process tests without developing a new backlog before reviewing our decision to implement a risk adjusted testing strategy which focuses on providing testing to residents which need it most- including healthcare workers, those already in hospital, those over the age of 55, people in old aged homes and people with comorbidities which would put them at additional risk.
We thank the NHLS for their hard work to resolve the backlog and President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Zweli Mkhize for intervening when the Western Cape raised their concerns about the backlogs.
Testing and triage update:
A total of 19 temporary testing and triage centres have been completed at hospitals across the province. Of these, 14 have been built in the metro and 5 have been completed in our non-metro regions. We are currently working to bring an additional 14 online in the metro by 1 July, and an additional 26 in our non-metro regions by the middle to end of July.
These testing and triage centres are an important part of our healthcare readiness response as they allow for testing to be conducted separately from other hospital functions, and also ensure that our emergency units are not overwhelmed by requests for testing.
Pressure has been building in our acute hospital facilities, however, these hospitals are not yet at full capacity and still have some spare capacity to admit COVID-19 patients. Our critical care wards at Groote Schuur and at Tygerberg are currently running at near capacity, however, two exciting medical breakthroughs may help to relieve some of this pressure. The high flow nasal oxygen which we are bringing online is starting to make a difference at both Groote Schuur and at Tygerberg, as it presents an alternative therapy to people being treated on ventilators.
We are also currently working on the clinical protocols for dexamethasone administration to patients on ventilators and oxygen therapy. Preliminary results coming out of the UK have shown really positive results in reducing mortality in serious cases of COVID-19.