Tshwane seeing steady increase in Covid-19 hospital admissions

Picture for illustration. Nurses set up new ventilators during an event at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg on 24 August 2020. Picture: Neil McCartney

Gauteng was among the four provinces experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases, however, modellers have said the province had not as yet reached peak in infections

While the country’s Covid-19 hotspot hospitals have been flooded with admissions as cases mount, some of Tshwane region’s health facilities have reported a stable increase of admissions related to the pandemic.

A week ago, the health department said the country was experiencing high Covid-19 infections and Gauteng was among the provinces reported to see the spike.

Shedding light on the state in some of the hospitals in the region, Life Healthcare regional manager Johan Holder said although Covid-19 hospital admissions changed daily, the region’s hospitals were seeing a steady increase.

“As we enter the holiday season, we sincerely urge the community to please help all hospitals in combatting the virus by not neglecting mask wearing, social distancing and proper hand hygiene.

“Adhering to these safety measures is in the best interest of your own health and the health of your loved ones and local community,” Holder said.

Holder said their hospitals in the region were prepared and ready to manage possible increase of Covid-19 cases.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Gauteng NOT ‘officially’ in grip of Covid-19 second wave

“Stringent infection prevention protocols are in place to try safeguard all stakeholders in our facilities. This include, routine screening and testing of all persons before entering our facilities to identify present signs and symptoms of Covid-19 infection and establish the risk of exposure.

“We also have dedicated isolation wards for positive Covid-19 patients and patients under investigation.”

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases’ daily Covid-19 hospital admissions in Gauteng, there was about 1 539 people hospitalised in the province with 191 of those in intensive care unit on Wednesday, making the province to have third highest admissions in the country, behind the Eastern Cape and Western Cape.

Netcare hospital division managing director Jacques du Plessis said they saw an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases, mainly in hotspot areas but these were still manageable.

“All of our hospitals are continuing to monitor the situation very closely to provide appropriate care for each patient according to the severity of their condition,” he said.

“We urge each and every person to take Covid-19 seriously and be even more cautious over the festive season. Every time people get together there are opportunities for the virus to potentially spread. Please remain vigilant to help protect your loved ones, yourself and the healthcare system.”

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Du Plessis said it was critical for people to adhere to Covid-19 precautions including washing of hands regularly, adherence to social distancing and always wearing a mask in public and when in the presence of others to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“We cannot emphasise strongly enough the need for all these precautions to be diligently followed, as every person has a responsibility to help ‘flatten this new curve’ to avoid contracting and passing on the virus.”

Hospitals in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal have reported facing constraints in admissions.

Netcare CEO Dr Richard Friedland said both public and private hospitals were under pressure in those areas.

“We have had to airlift two patients (from small town areas) to our Cape Town facilities so they can get the best care,” he said.

“Gauteng is just beginning to take off and we are concerned when holiday-makers return from the coast that they might bring the virus with them if they are not vigilant.”

Gauteng was among the four provinces experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases, however, modellers have said the province had not as yet reached peak in infections and could possibly see the rise in January.

As of 14 December, Tshwane Covid-19 figures stood at 56 737 with Covid-19 deaths at 1 226 while recoveries stood at 53 062.

Atteridgeville, Laudium, Pretoria CBD, Hercules, Danville, Saulsville, Lotus Gardens and Pretoria West accounted for most cases in the region at 19 889 with 18 865 recoveries.

This article first appeared on Rekord and was republished with permission.

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