Western Cape’s rush to close CTICC Hospital of Hope was wrong, says Herron
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Cape Town - As public hospitals in the province buckle under the pressure exerted on the health system by a second wave of Covid-19 infections, the provincial health department has banned hospital visits.
Premier Alan Winde said: “At this stage, visitors to public health facilities will not be allowed. Health facilities in the Western Cape are still subject to strict adherence to health protocols. If you have any questions about visitation restrictions, please call the hospital in question to enquire.
“We know that you want to visit your loved ones in hospital, but to limit any potential risk of possible transmission of Covid-19 to them, we must continue to restrict in-hospital visitations. This is in line with the principles of social distancing to limit interaction and in doing so, slow and stop the spread,” he said.
He added: “No person will be allowed inside Western Cape Government Health facilities without wearing a suitable mask covering their nose and mouth.”
Health department spokesperson Maret Lesch said: “Patients who are in hospital but are stable will be discharged for further management at home or at a step-down facility.
“Patients are urged to only access the Emergency Centre for emergencies. Non-emergencies should access healthcare services at their nearest clinic.”
ANC provincial spokesperson on health Rachel Windvogel said the DA was not helping the cause of containing the second wave with the utterances of its members.
Windvogel said: “During alert level 1 they made demands for scrapping of the travel red list when all other countries maintained theirs. And now the party is making reckless utterances, criticising the national government’s move to close certain beaches in the province in the Covid-19 hot spot.
“As responsible citizens, to contain the spread of the virus is entirely dependent on people’s behaviour.”
Good party MPL Brett Herron said: “Hospitals are under extreme pressure. ICUs are full and patients requiring hospital care for Covid-19 or other medical treatments are struggling to access care. This situation is quite dire and we need residents and visitors to be extremely vigilant about sticking to the Covid rules.
“It is clear now that the rush to close the Hospital of Hope at the CTICC was wrong. Unfortunately, the DA government has focused disproportionately on getting back to normal ignoring the pattern of the pandemic in other parts of the world.
“There was much backslapping about the quick closure of the CTICC as if the pandemic was behind us. Now people can’t get access to hospitals,” Herron said.
EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “The province has been in this situation before, there is nothing new here. The only reason we find ourselves in this situation again is due to lack of proper planning in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Just before the beginning of the second wave of infections, the DA-led government in the province pretended as if it had things under control and would use its so-called hotspot data driven strategy to contain the spread of the virus.
“All that was a failure because we are led by the provincial government that does not know what it is doing,” said Xego.
“They continue to emphasise on promoting and protecting profits over the lives of people in this province. They spend too much time taking the national government to court over closure of beaches than to actually try and contain the spread of this virus.”
Meanwhile, the health department has urged patients in the Cape Metro to access the Pocket Clinic telehealth service from their cellphone via WhatsApp by sending “Hi” to 087 240 6122.
“Use Pocket Clinic to update your contact details, query your chronic medication delivery, and to confirm an existing appointment before going to the clinic.”