Gauteng Health under pressure but there’s enough capacity to deal with demand, says MEC
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Johannesburg - As Gauteng battles with the increasing number of Covid-19 infections that’s putting pressure on the health system, the MEC for Health in the province said they had enough capacity to deal with the demand.
In addition to that, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said, they were in the process of employing more health workers to help confront the third wave.
The MEC said in the first for the province, 7 859 new infections were recorded last week Wednesday and that number surpassed the first and second wave daily infections.
“Our system might be under pressure, but we still have the will and enough capacity to cope with the demand. We are adding more healthcare personnel to make sure more available beds are fully functional,” Mokgethi said.
As of Saturday June 19, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Gauteng stood at 545 262, with 477 493 recoveries.
The death toll in the province from Covid-19 sat at 12 079 while 5 178 people were hospitalised in the public and private facilities.
On Monday, the army deployed its medical personnel to Gauteng as part of the response to the pandemic in the province. The soldiers were expected to augment the staff complement in the province as the virus continued to wreak havoc.
According to Mokgethi, the department had dedicated Covid-19 functional beds across the province supported by a live electronic Covid-19 Bed Management Dashboard used to monitor the utilization of beds across the province.
“There is no doubt that we are seeing widespread transmission of coronavirus infection in all our communities. In addition to the newly built infrastructure in areas such Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Jubilee Hospital and Bronkhorstspruit Hospital and the repurposed Tshwane District Hospital as an example, wards and beds in other facilities are always re-purposed based on the demands of the pandemic at any given the time.”
The department also said it has activated resurgence plans across its five districts to minimize the impact of the third wave with intensified screening and testing and with contacts followed-up appropriately.
“Meanwhile, the Gauteng province has ramped up its vaccination programme by ensuring that more sites are opened up. There are now 137 active sites (89 Public and 48 private) with eight new sites added. The plan is to increase capacity and to ensure that more sites get to also operate over the weekend, with the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital vaccination being the first site in the province to open seven days a week.
“All public vaccinations sites in Gauteng accept walk-ins for those who are 60 years and above, whether people are registered or not. All persons will be assisted with registration and will be vaccinated, even those who are registered and waiting for SMSes,” Mokgethi said.