Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope reactivated amid third wave
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Cape Town - As the Western Cape deals with the sharp rise in Covid-19 infections, the Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope has been reactivated, with the first Covid-19 patients having been admitted during the third wave.
Hospital admissions are increasing in the Western Cape, doubling every week, according to Premier Alan Winde. He expects that daily hospital admissions could surpass 500 by the end of the week.
The 200-bed field hospital began admitting patients last week Wednesday and has prepared further beds should the need arise.
To date, it has brought 44 beds online, equipped with oxygen capacity, to respond to the increase in hospital admissions.
On Monday, Winde visited the Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope, one of the province’s dedicated Covid-19 field hospitals, to conduct oversight of the hospital’s preparation during the third wave.
“I had the opportunity to see our response for myself, as well as engage with healthcare workers when visiting the facility today, and was welcomed by the health programmes manager, Fatima Peters.
“The Mitchells Plain Hospital of Hope, on the grounds of Lentegeur Hospital, has a total of 200 beds for Covid-19 patients, with oxygen infrastructure, and was brought online during the second wave.
“This was part of our strategy to create dedicated Covid-19 intermediate capacity at existing facilities so that there was legacy infrastructure that could be used in subsequent waves, and into the future,” Winde said.
As of Sunday, 4 July, ward 95 of the Hospital of Hope had admitted 31 patients and had prepared 44 beds, of which eight were high-flow nasal oxygen beds.
“Ward 90 of the hospital has a further 60 normal oxygen beds available should we need to scale up in the coming weeks. We can also scale up with another 100 beds at wards 93 and 94.
“This capacity is in addition to the Brackengate Hospital of Hope, another dedicated Covid-19 field hospital, which can treat up to 336 patients. We also have dedicated Covid-19 field hospital capacity at the Sonstraal Hospital, and can still bring online Ward 99,” Winde said.
“I want to thank the brave women and men serving on our front line who continue to work tirelessly to care for our loved ones and save lives.
“I also want to use this opportunity to urge our residents to do everything possible to not end up in one of our hospitals. The best way to do that is to stay safe and avoid situations where you are at risk of getting infected by the virus.”
Meanwhile, the vaccine roll-out in the province forges ahead.
Having received 191 880 Pfizer vaccines on 25 June as part of Phase 2 (to be used between June 28 and July 9), and 26 400 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for educators on June 22, the province’s combined total vaccine allocation since May 17 was 513 120.
As at Friday, July 2, the provincial health department had utilised 72% of its allocation, vaccinating 369 501 people, including educators.
Through the Sisonke programme, it had also vaccinated 91 732 healthcare workers, bringing the total number of people vaccinated in the province to 461 233.
The Western Cape health department said that to balance the previous relatively lower availability of vaccines in rural areas, it has boosted the supply of vaccines to these areas.
Of the total vaccines received to date, 34.2% (175 487) have been supplied to rural areas. This allocation would increase in the coming weeks.
On July 2, the health department received 58 700 vaccines, which, along with the vaccines remaining from last week, would be used this week.
The department will increase its weekly target to 100 000 and increase the cumulative vaccine allocation to rural areas to 40%.
The public could expect 193 active vaccination sites across the province.
From Monday, July 5, the Electronic Vaccination Data System will allocate available appointment slots in the following order of priority:
- Priority 1 - people 60 years or older who require their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
- Priority 2 - people 60 years or older who are eligible for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (about 42 days after their first dose).
- Priority 3 - people aged 50 to 59 years who require their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The provincial health department said a limited numbers of walk-ins would be accommodated at the vaccination sites. The number of walk-ins permitted would depend on the available capacity and the vaccine doses available at each individual site.