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Report predicts surge in Covid-19 cases in N Cape

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According to the report, compiled by the SA Covid-19 Modelling Consortium, the projected cumulative number of cases in the Northern Cape by July 13 is expected to be 23 600.

THE NATIONAL Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has projected that the Northern Cape, which has so far managed to contain the coronavirus, is expected to have around 720 confirmed positive cases of Covid-19 and 15 deaths by mid July.

This is according to a report, issued by the NICD, which indicates that the national number of coronavirus cases in South Africa are projected to reach 400 000 by mid-July, with 7 440 Covid-19 related deaths.

Currently there are 106 108 positive cases and 2 101 deaths.

In the Northern Cape currently there are a total of 270 positive cases and two deaths, including one person from the Province who died in hospital in Bloemfontein.

According to the report, compiled by the SA Covid-19 Modelling Consortium, the projected cumulative number of cases in the Northern Cape by July 13 is expected to be 23 600, of whom 4 310 are expected to be symptomatic. At the current detection rate, the cumulative detected cases by mid-July is anticipated to be 720.

The number of patients in the Province requiring hospitalisation is expected to be 100, while 19 will require ICU treatment.

“The model projects that if testing patterns remain unchanged there may be more than 408 000 detected cases throughout South Africa by mid-July. However, prioritisation of testing may result in a reduction in detected cases to approximately 133 000,” the report states.

They are also expecting that nationally 59 300 people will be hospitalised, with 7 640 in the intensive care unit while at least 19 100 beds will be required.

The hardest-hit province of the Western Cape, according to the NICD’s report, is likely to see 189 000 cases and 4 750 deaths.

“The model projections indicate that the demand for ICU beds is likely to exceed available ICU beds in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape during the month of July (including expanded capacity that has been made available in the Western Cape),” the report states.

The Eastern Cape, which currently has 18 108 cases is expected to jump to 56 100 with 1 080 deaths.

The figures for the other provinces are:

Gauteng: 115 000 cases and 730 deaths

North West: 23 300 cases and  480 deaths

KwaZulu-Natal: 16 700 cases and 270 deaths

LImpopo: 2 370 cases and 48 deaths

Mpumalanga: 1 410 cases and 20 deaths

Free State: 1 080 cases and 38 deaths

According to the NICD, the model was calibrated to report cumulative admissions and death data from March 21 to June 5.

“It is important to realise that not all active cases will require health care. A substantial proportion of infections (75%) are assumed to be asymptomatic or very mildly ill such that they would not require an outpatient care visit and would be very unlikely to seek Covid testing. Approximately 96% of active symptomatic cases are predicted to be mildly ill, with only a fraction of those seeking outpatient care or Covid testing. Therefore, large case numbers do not necessarily present a large burden on the health system. As has been the experience of many countries around the world, the vast majority of Covid-19 cases will show no or mild symptoms.

“Given that, in the early stages of the epidemic, the disease had seeded differently in the provinces and in communities with varying contact behaviour, the growth of the epidemic is different in each of the provinces.”