Top doctors weigh in on Western Cape Covid-19 peak

CAPE TOWN- Doctors from Melomed Gatesville Private Hospital say that while there may be signs the Western Cape has passed its Covid-19 peak, the province shouldn’t be complacent and should prepare for a possible second wave. 

In a Covid-19 provincial update earlier this week, Premier Alan Winde said the province has passed its peak with sufficient platform capacity and will be considering whether some temporary field hospitals should remain open. 

Specialist physician at Melomed, Dr Zaraina Solomons, said irrespective of whether the Western Cape has reached its peak, many suspect the disease will be around for months to come.

“By the looks of it we have had a decrease in the number of patients requiring hospital admission, but in comparison to the deaths, I don’t think we should be complacent in any way,” she said. 

“If you’re asking me with regards to whether or not we have passed our peak so that you can breathe a little bit more, my suggestion would be to still practice social distancing and be wary of the fact that you could still contract Covid-19 and potentially infect someone else.”

Earlier this week the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) said in a press release the downward turn of Covid-19 deaths in South Africa is a positive sign that the virus may have peaked in all the provinces by the end of July.

Melomed Specialist Physician and Pulmonologist, Dr Bilal Gafoor, said that while the province may have passed the first peak, the second wave should be anticipated. 

“We had quite a tremendous peak initially. Just about every patient that walked through our casualty was Covid-19 positive. Most of them were in respiratory distress and needed intensive care, but since then things have settled down and our numbers have fallen,” he said. 

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