Residents and the worship team of the Plettenberg Bay Methodist Church gathered outside the Plettenberg Bay Mediclinic today to applaud the medical workers for their hard work in fighting Covid-19. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Residents and the worship team of the Plettenberg Bay Methodist Church gathered outside the Plettenberg Bay Mediclinic today to applaud the medical workers for their hard work in fighting Covid-19. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Number of new SA Covid-19 cases stays on 18 000 mark

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Jan 14, 2021

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Cape Town – A total of 18 503 new Covid-19 cases have been identified in the country.

The cumulative number of Covid-19 cases now stands at 1 296 806, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Thursday. A total of 18 555 new cases were reported yesterday, after 13 105 new cases were reported on Tuesday. This follows a peak of 21 862 last Friday.

A total of 712 deaths (806 yesterday) were reported: Eastern Cape 97, Free State 21, Gauteng 114, KwaZulu-Natal 232, Limpopo 11, Mpumalanga 10, North West 50, Northern Cape 15 and Western Cape 162. This brings the total number of deaths to 35 852 .

The number of recoveries now stand at 1 049 740, representing a recovery rate of 80.9% A total of 7 433 571 tests have been conducted, with 74 830 new tests since the last report.

The KwaZulu-Natal health department has been unable to increase critical- and high-care beds for Covid-19 patients because of a shortage of specialist nurses and doctors.

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, together with the head of department, Dr Sandile Tshabalala, appeared before the portfolio committee on health on Thursday to give an update on health-care services in relation to Covid-19.

While the department has recorded an overall bed occupancy of 56.3%, the impact of the virus has been devastating on health-care workers, with 1 694 in isolation and 724 in quarantine.

To deal with the increased demand and pressure on their facilities, South Africa's three biggest private hospital groups – Mediclinic, Life Healthcare and Netcare – are bringing in extra staff capacity.

Some of South Africas biggest hospital groups have begun recruiting volunteers and retired employees as they grapple with increasing Covid-19 cases and staff shortages.

Mediclinic, Life Healthcare and Netcare were already feeling the financial impact of the pandemic, with their revenue declines running into billions, as patients put off their elective surgeries out of fear of catching Covid.

To deal with the increased demand and pressure on its facilities, Mediclinic has begun a formal volunteer recruitment process for community members who did not have healthcare experience and others who have previously worked in the industry.

Meanwhile, the most popular municipal Muslim cemetery in Cape Town has run out of space due to Covid-19.

The City of Cape Town said it had allocated extra space for 837 Muslim burials at Maitland cemetery after Klip Road cemetery in Grassy Park filled up.

The council said it was working with the Muslim Judicial Council to increase burial capacity at the remaining 10 municipal cemeteries with a Muslim allotment. Cape Town also has private Muslim cemeteries.

IOL

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