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Concern over Covid-19 infections surge, hospital admissions in Tshwane

Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Nov 30, 2021

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Pretoria - Health experts yesterday raised concerns about Tshwane, where higher numbers of Covid-19 hospital admissions have been recorded than anywhere else in the country.

Public health specialist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Dr Waasila Jassat, said that while Gauteng was the most affected province, Pretoria was the hardest hit within the region.

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Between October 23 and November 27, the institute had noted a 246.6% increase in daily hospital admissions in rhe capital city. Hospital admissions had risen from an average of nine to about 32 a day.

This was high, considering that other big metros in Gauteng, such as Johannesburg, had an average of about five daily admissions 14 days ago, which had risen to about nine.

Ekurhuleni had an average of two daily admissions two weeks ago, and now had about four. The other smaller metros had recorded fewer than two admissions a day.

Regarding Pretoria, Jassat said: “In the past two weeks or so, we have had about 455 admissions. From that, 253 came from the public sector and 202 from the private sector. Eight people have died, 201 have been discharged... and 219 are currently admitted.”

Of the eight people who died, seven had died in public sector facilities and one in a private sector facility.

“There have been few deaths. Just eight deaths, but you can see most of the deaths have been in the older groups, from 60 to 69, and those over 80,” said Dr Jassat.

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However, public hospitals are admitting more patients, with Tshwane District Hospital, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Jubilee Hospital total admissions at 65, 54 and 48 respectively.

Mediclinic Medforum private hospital had the highest number of admissions, with 40, followed by Mediclinic Muelmed with 26, and Louis Pasteur Private Hospital with 22. These admissions had increased, particularly over the past 10 days.

Jassat said normally they would see a higher number of older people admitted to hospital, but most admissions currently were babies or children younger than 2 years old. The second most-admitted group were people aged 28 to 38.

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However, when the figures were calculated per 100 000 per group, the highest admissions were older people, above 65, and these had been increasing over the past six weeks.

Jassat said in the past in Tshwane, when the virus peaked, there were more people admitted who had serious diseases, but currently there are more people without serious diseases who have found themselves admitted.

City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said they were hopeful that a joint project with the Department of Education to vaccinate school pupils would be effective in curbing the spread of the virus and encourage people to get vaccinated.

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The City is also introducing free rides on A Re Yeng buses to vaccination stations and pop-up sites at taxi-rank and shopping centres

Mashigo also said they were positive that the turnout for the 12-to-18 age group would increase, as most pupils were completing their exams.

“We have vaccinated 33 197 people, 27 674 of them fully vaccinated,” he said.

Pretoria News

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