The number of Covid-19 deaths in the Western Cape may be plateauing, but it is still too early to confirm it decisively, provincial head of health Dr Keith Cloete said.
Cloete was giving a situational analysis of the pandemic in the province to the ad hoc committee on Covid-19.
We peaked somewhere at about 56 and in the last week or so our number of daily deaths has started stabilising and is even possibly starting to show an early decline. But it is too early to be certain of the trend.
“The epidemic is at the advanced established community transmission stage in many sub-districts in the Cape metro. It has been noted that the Khayelitsha and Klipfontein sub-districts have the highest numbers of deaths due to Covid-19,” said Cloete.
“Khayelitsha and certain suburbs in Klipfontein are particularly vulnerable with respect to mortality and should receive enhanced attention. This may be in part due to increased comorbidities such as HIV and TB in addition to the chronic diseases of lifestyle – this should be analysed further.”
On the numbers of children and adults under 20 dying from the virus, Cloete said: “We track children under the age of 19 and there have only been eight deaths of people under 20 years old by June 29. Each death is investigated and every single one of these eight had a comorbidity or a predisposing condition attached. These included pre-term birth, congenital abnormalities and cardiac disease.”
In a statement as the session began, Cloete said the data was up to date as of Thursday last week as the department had submitted the report to the committee on Friday.
A presentation written by Dr Krish Vallabhjee, Dr Melvin Moodley and Dr Saadiq Kariem indicated the department was already calling for the reinstatement of the alcohol ban before the president announced it on Sunday.
“The lifting of the alcohol ban has effectively resulted in a 62% increase in daily trauma cases at emergency centres Recommendation: the alcohol ban be reinstated,” said the presentation.