The Limpopo Covid-19 infection rate has passed the 5 000 mark with more than 200 cases being those of health workers.
This has Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha, MEC for health Phophi Ramathuba and the Limpopo provincial command council worried. Limpopo council reported yesterday that by Wednesday, the provincial Covid-19 cases had risen to more than 5,700 with a death rate of more than 60 and a recovery rate of more than 2,000.
More than 400 cases, according to the council, were reported in the past 24 hours. The highest numbers of those succumbing were between the ages of 30 and 39. The council said front-line healthcare worker infections stood at more than 200. Of those, 171 of them were in public hospitals and 35 in the private sector.
The council said there was also a high level of recovery reported amongst them. The situation in the province had prompted them to submit a comprehensive proposal to the National Coronavirus Command Council on a way forward in identifying essential or front-line workers.
“As Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise, we are proud to announce that the province has about 6,000 available beds, all fitted with oxygen facilities.
“The high care beds will be increased to 310, whereas the province currently has 32 beds at Pietersburg Hospital. The high care centre will be dedicated only for those patients that need high care and high-flow oxygen. A total of 89 beds are prepared for Covid-19 patients and 27 beds will be for those needing ventilators,” said the chair of the command council, Stan Ramaila, during the virtual meeting.
Mathabatha said the council was further welcoming the stand by the department of education in its decision not to allow the return to school of more pupils. The pupils Mathabatha was referring to included Grades R, 1, 2, 3, 6, 10 and 11. He said the MEC for education, after approaching the minister of basic education, was granted permission not to phase in Grade Rs.
“A school may be permitted to deviate from the phased return in respect to specific grades or dates, as contemplated in the directions, provided the school complies with the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures and requirements.
“This provision applies for both public and independent schools. This implies that some schools may apply to bring Grade R pupils earlier than the stipulated date,” said Mathabatha.
The number of teachers with confirmed cases have risen to 125, with 71 pupils and one non-teaching staff member. The council thanked those who continued to respect the Disaster Management Act rules of social distancing, the wearing of masks and avoiding crowded areas.
However, concerns were still raised with regard to soccer tournaments that continued to take place at certain villages and people continuing to lead normal lives without protecting themselves and their families from Covid-19.