Cape Town - Health and Wellness MEC Nomafrench Mbombo has said the Health Department is well prepared and has established a clear monitoring and trigger system to track Covid-19 infections, ahead of the predicted fifth wave of the pandemic.
Mbombo was responding to questions from EFF MPL Melikhaya Xego about the preparations the department has in place to deal with the fifth wave of infections.
At the same time, provincial ANC health spokesperson Rachel Windvogel said that despite every indication that the province will reach the fifth wave soon, the provincial government is yet to relocate thousands of informal settlement dwellers that it was supposed to move in 2020.
Windvogel said: “There are no basic services in many informal settlements that were established during the pandemic. These will add to the risk of rapid spread.”
Mbombo said the department’s trigger system is based on the department’s past experiences in relation to hospital admissions and oxygen use, which are currently both below where they were during previous waves.
“Covid-19 cases and those of people that are under investigation currently make up only 7% of all available acute general hospital capacity both in the metro and in the rural regional hospital drainage areas,” Mbombo said.
She said the province’s past experiences with Covid-19 waves had enabled them to have agreements in place with the necessary service providers, for the acquisition of additional oxygen when needed.
“We also have additional bed capacity at our intermediate care hospitals, such as the Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope, in case we need it, and we will appoint additional staff on contract where required,” said Mbombo.
Mbombo said the department was aware that Covid-19 will not go away any time soon.