Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. File photo: ANA/Brendan Magaar
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize. File photo: ANA/Brendan Magaar

Mkhize says SA is prepared for Covid-19 peak

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published May 27, 2020

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Health Minister Zweli Mkhize has said all provinces have prepared additional beds in order to deal with the pandemic when it peaked. 

Mkhize said the estimated number of ICU beds was 5000.

He also said they have started to look at additional beds in Gauteng and Western Cape. 

Mkhize said they were working on an arrangement to use private hospital beds and there was a team clearing up issues around costs.

He said enough PPEs have been ordered. 

"There is enough stock brought into the country.  The country is served well with available PPEs," the minister said during an oral question session in the virtual sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

Responding to one of the questions, Mkhize said there were several models that predicted the trajectory of the pandemic. 

The models expect the peak at different times starting from July up to August and later. 

They also estimate deaths from 34 000 up to 50 000.

Mkhize said the models were used as a guide of what was possible on the pandemic. 

He stated that not all was taken from the models other than those important aspects.

The minister noted that the models did not have direct data of what happened in South Africa. 

"We need to understand limitations that are in the models. We can't take everything as it stands," Mkhize said, adding they were something to keep a watch on.

"We do whatever we can to change the trajectory," he said.  

The minister said testing has been a major weapon in the fight against Covid-19 but there were global shortages of kits.

Mkhize said they were doing everything to keep to the level of testing where there was a sense of positive cases. 

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