Article by Lindiwe Karosa
Victory looms for South Africans as the Covid-19 recovery toll hits 410. Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize ascribed these positive news to the heroic manner in which health workers have performed their duties. Read more to see how the lockdown extension will assist the Department of Health to fulfill its mandate.
St Augustine’s Hospital
The alarming number of infections, especially amongst staff members at St Augustine’s Hospital has propelled the Department of Health to close the hospital. The KZN hospital currently does not allow new outpatients and is undergoing a fumigation process. With over 40 staff members testing positive for the virus, the call for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers has never been greater.
Dr Zweli Mkhize has met with a number of unions who are rightfully concerned about the shortage of PPEs for health workers across the country. The protection of staff members was a priority for all stakeholders present and it was agreed upon that staff members will not be expected to work if they do not have the appropriate gear for their designated positions. This has therefore meant that not all nurses will have full protective gear as gear will be issued depending on the risk associated with your role in the hospital.
The Minister will now be able to view a dashboard illustrating the levels of stock in the country. This will enable the Department to forecast shortages and therefore take the appropriate actions.
Public & Private Sectors
A collaboration between the public and private sectors is taking place. The two will pool resources on the basis of need and will function as one system for a united approach to treating patients.
The number of confirmed positive cases has risen to 2 003, and 24 deaths. 92% of these deaths are people who are ages 63 and above. However, the Minister has shared that the Department has seen people with underlying conditions succumb quicker to the virus.
The Minister has thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa, his Cabinet and the National Command Council for the lockdown extension.
He also wished South Africans a Happy Easter and paid tribute to congregants and religious leaders for their cooperation.