File picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency (ANA)

Concern over bed shortages in three Eastern Cape districts amid Covid-19 surge

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Jan 13, 2021

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Cape Town – The Eastern Cape Health Department says it is concerned with three of its districts in terms of the availability of beds at the hospitals in order to deal with the surge of Covid-19 in the province.

Briefing the health portfolio committee on Wednesday, acting superintendent-general Sibongile Zungu said they were concerned with Alfred Nzo District, Buffalo City Metro and OR Tambo District.

"As of yesterday, these three were showing pressure in general beds," Zungu said.

"In Alfred Nzo, Joe Gqabi and Nelson Mandela Bay metro, there is some pressure that we are seeing there in terms of critical care beds," she said.

Zungu told the MPs that the districts of Alfred Nzo, Amathoe, Joe Gqabi and Sarah Baartman did not have designated ICU facilities.

"However, the province has made provision of critical beds in certain designated district hospitals, equipped them with oxygen and high-flow equipment and better staffing levels so that citizens of the province can travel to critical-care beds within two hours with an ambulance."

A presentation she made to the meeting showed that Eastern Cape has availed 3 143 general beds and 637 critical beds.

Zungu said there were 1 732 admissions in their health facilities as at January 11.

A total of 1 524 were in general wards, 144 in ICU beds and 64 in high care.

She said 855 of the patients were on oxygen whether they were in the high care or general wards while 76 were being ventilated.

Zungu stated that out of the 25 385 admissions to hospitals, 15 705 patients were discharged, 7 206 died in hospital, 1 732 were still in admission, 733 were transferred and there were nine non-Covid-19-related deaths.

Political Bureau

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