Cheryl Kahla
Deputy online news editor
2 minute read
21 Jun 2021
6:02 am

Covid-19 third wave: Gauteng hospitals ‘resilient’ despite spike in infections

Cheryl Kahla

Four hospitals in the province 'will be able to handle the load', thanks to newly-built infrastructure.

A member of staff undergoes a PCR Covid test during the Pro-Am in Johannesburg. Picture: Getty Images

Gauteng hospitals and personnel still “have the will and enough capacity to cope” with the Covid-19 third wave, the health department said on Sunday.

Increased Covid-19 load in Gauteng

Spokesperson Kwara Kekana said hospitals in the province are “operating under increased load” due to the spike in new COVID-19 infections, but remain resilient.

Furthermore, Gauteng MEC for Health, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said additional human resource personnel will be appointed, in addition to the Sandf medics deployed to assist in the province.

The military will provide support for health workers and help with community testing and contact tracing.

Dr Mokgethi said the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Jubilee Hospital, the Bronkhorstspruit Hospital and the repurposed Tshwane District Hospital will be able to handle the load, thanks to newly-built infrastructure.

Moreover, wards and beds in other facilities “are always repurposed based on the demands of the pandemic at any given time”, Mokgethi added.

Gauteng resurgence plans

To combat the rise in infections, the Gauteng health department will intensify screening and testing activities in the province’s five districts, as part of its resurgence plans.

This follows after the rise in Covid-19 cases experienced in some provinces, with the Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Gauteng entering the third wave earlier this month.

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research said earlier this month bed occupancy in Gauteng was at 3 859, “with more than 2 100 new hospital admissions recorded” during the previous week.

At the time, Gauteng provincial spokesperson Thabo Masebe said the private sector is at roughly “80% occupation, and that many facilities didn’t have ICU beds”.

Lastly, Dr Mokgethi calls on the public to wear masks, keep a safe physical distance from each other and wash hands regularly or use a hand sanitiser.

She said the fight against Covid-19 can only be won “when everyone acknowledges the power to stop the spread of the coronavirus lies with every individual”.

Now read: Health department suspends visiting hours at Gauteng hospitals

Recent Covid-19 stats

At the time of publishing, the cumulative number of detected Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 1 823 319, with 13 155 new cases and 112 coronavirus-related deaths identified since Saturday. The death toll in South Africa is now 58 702, while the number of recoveries stands at 1 647 503.

Approximately 66% of new cases were from Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape with 9%.

Gauteng currently has 137 active vaccination sites – 89 public and 48 private facilities) with 8 new sites recently added. Walk-ins are welcome at all public vaccination sites, whether residents are registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) Self Registration Portal or not.