The Western Cape has passed the 10,000 Covid-19-related death mark, despite a decline in fatalities.
On Wednesday, the province recorded an additional 95 deaths, taking the total to 10,075, according to the provincial government’s statistics.
“At this stage, we all have either lost a loved one, a family member, a friend or a colleague, or we know someone who is grieving,” Premier Alan Winde said in a statement.
“As a province, we have lost leaders, healthcare workers, teachers, and people who still had so much potential. As individuals, we mourn the loss of our grandparents, parents, spouses, siblings and friends. We honour their memory.”
The death rate was declining, Winde said, and his administration was doing “everything it can to save lives”.
The province is second in terms of fatalities behind the Eastern Cape, which, by Wednesday, registered 10 229 deaths. Third is KwaZulu-Natal, with 7,999 deaths.
Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town said burials at its cemeteries have showed a slight decline for the second week in a row.
“Although burials still remain high, at 180% of interments before the pandemic, the slight ease in demand reflects the downward trend in the rate of infection,” said mayoral committee member for community services and health Zahid Badroodien.
In the past week, City cemeteries recorded 622 burials, of which 18% were confirmed Covid-19 fatalities.
At Maitland Crematorium, 231 cremations took place, 45 of which were Covid-19 deaths.
“This is an increase in cremations from the 198 total recorded at the crematorium the week before, due to the additional cremators coming into operation mid-week last week,” he said.
“With the additional capacity available for use from this week, it is anticipated that more cremations will now be able to be processed daily to ease the backlog and alleviate pressure on the system.
“It is important to be mindful that while the City has increased capacity at the crematorium, this is still insufficient to meet the normal 72-hour turnaround time on cremations due to the extraordinarily high demand at present.
“The City has therefore submitted a request to Provincial Government Air Quality Management, to obtain the authority for extended hours of operation for the older cremators in operation, which may result in further increased capacity.”