The first Covid “trigger warning” has been activated after a surge in the demand for healthcare services over the past 14 to 21 days in South Africa’s Western Cape province, a high-profile official.

The “trigger system” aims to promote transparency by using pre-defined markers which will guide the province’s response, reduce transmissions and prepare health services, the province’s Premier Alan Winde said in a statement on Monday.

“We have clearly identified trigger points in place to ensure that our healthcare system can identify risks and respond adequately,” Xinhua news agency quoted Winde as saying.

The general bed use rate in the Western Cape is at 85 per cent and its Covid-19 bed use rate is at 17 per cent, official figures show.

The official also reassured residents that the province has enough resources in place to respond to the “increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the province” and is able to further scale up its response.

As of Tuesday morning, South Africa has recorded a total of 1,832,479 Covid-19 cases, of which 16.9 per cent are in the Western Cape.

The country’s death toll stood at 58,795.

–IANS

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