Tshwane hospitals under pressure despite signs of decline in Covid-19 cases
Pretoria - Although there are signs of a decline in coronavirus cases in the City of Tshwane and the country at large, the latest data shows that the pressure on hospitals has not yet eased.
The latest report to the Gauteng legislature described how lack of service delivery to local hospitals resulted in people flocking to Steve Biko Academic Hospital for treatment and care.
Officially, the province has 4 344 private and state hospital beds, but the department said 5 277 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised and there were more than 35 500 active cases.
Mamelodi Regional Hospital, Kalafong hospital, Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital and Jubilee district hospital were still short of beds and staff.
Last week, Steve Biko and Tshwane district hospitals, which operate as a complex for the management of Covid-19 cases, recruited 33 nurses, two doctors and one dietician on an urgent basis.
The projects for infrastructure and beds at Dr George Mukhari and Jubilee were halted by strikes that turned violent, said Gauteng Department Of Infrastructure Development spokesperson Bongiwe Gambu.
At Jubilee, only 95 of the 300 beds can be occupied.
The building site at Dr George Mukhari remains closed. “Subcontractors have left the site due to non-payment. Revised completion of January 29 2021 for the 150 beds and the remaining 150 beds to be completed by February 26 2021,” read the report.
According to the latest figures released by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), there were 1 357 patients on life-supporting ventilators, and there were 13 409 people in hospitals due to Covid-19 related complications.
Of these, 2 471 patients were in the intensive care unit and 1 123 in high-care units.
Of the 13 409, 6 268 were in private hospitals and 7 141 in state hospitals.
On January 19, 13 764 patients were in the hospital — the most so far.
Hospitalisations reached the 6 000 mark for the first time in December, and then hit the 10 000 mark.
According to the institute, there were 10 759 people in hospitals in South Africa on January 7, of which 1 847 people were in ICU and 881 in the high-care unit.
From January 8, the figures continued to rise.
According to the NICD, on January 13, for the first time more than 13 000 people had been admitted to hospital for the virus.
According to the institute, South Africa has reached the peak of its second wave and passed it, but “anything could still happen in a pandemic.”
But they did conceded that fewer coronavirus cases were now being recorded, and hospitalisations in most provinces was on the decline.
MEC of Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said on Monday the Nasrec facility was meant to alleviate pressure from hospitals across the province, and assured the media that it would be able to cope with the surge of Covid-infected patients.
There were currently 150 patients admitted at the hospital and there was capacity to admit more patients should the need arise.
“There are currently 1 500 beds at the facility, of which 420 are for isolation purposes, 50 quarantine rooms and 30 consultation rooms,” Mokgethi said.
The Netcare group said in a statement on Thursday that it had set up more field hospitals for Covid-19 patients.
Netcare said it has opened three field hospitals in Tshwane, Limpopo and North West in the past two weeks.