- Public hospitals have opened their doors to Covid-19 patients displaced from packaged private hospitals.
- Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said she was investigating what led to the filling of private hospitals and promised to continue to accommodate patients with medical help.
- Mkhize said it was concerned about the projected rise in Covid-19 in Gauteng as many holidaymakers returned to the province.
Government hospitals are easing the burden on private facilities that burst from joints with Covid-19 patients.
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize revealed at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg that state hospitals accommodated patients from private hospitals.
Mkhize said they were trying to understand why private hospitals overloaded Covid-19 patients.
READ Covid-19 spike: Many private hospitals are full, patients are sent to public hospitals – Minister of Health
“We’ve been unsure of what this business means. At this point, we have patients referring from private to hospitals, unlike before. This trend started in the Eastern Cape, and we realized we need to work with private hospitals. We can ‘Don’t let people fall into cracks simply because they are not housed in private hospitals. People need to be treated anywhere, ”Mkhize said.
Mkhize favors public health facilities that designed patient accommodation.
“We have introduced rapid antigen testing within 15 minutes to determine if a person is [Covid-19] positive or not. Positives can move forward quickly while we wait to test negative negatives, ”Mkhize said.
Mkhize said the numbers have begun to pull back a bit.
“We believe in the effective use of masks, cleansers and social distance. We urge people to do what they have done well. We look forward to how Gauteng survives.
“Last time, Gauteng rose up to three times higher than KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape and Eastern Cape. KwaZulu-Natal rose once higher than where Gauteng was at its peak. Gauteng shows a slight downward trend.
“We keep our fingers crossed. It’s still too early because people are coming back to Gauteng from all over, especially from coastal areas with a lot of infections. We look forward to seeing what impact people have on Gauteng’s movement,” Mkhize said.
Prohibition of alcohol
Mkhize said that if the government had not introduced level 3 restrictions, the situation would have been worse.
“We have been saved because of strict restrictions. Irresponsible alcohol consumption usually causes unnecessary and avoidable accidents.
“We have seen huge reductions in acute traumas, emergencies, interpersonal violence, stabbing and gunshot wounds, motor vehicle and taxi accidents where multiple people are killed simultaneously.
“This time we have been able to help and support healthcare workers. It is most frustrating and depressing when you have sick people and others who are avoidable because of their accidents, and some of them are abusers towards healthcare workers.” (sic), “Mkhize said.
“The health pressure is so severe that this [liquor ban] had to do. We say we are still very high and no one is allowed to suggest that [lifting the alcohol ban]. Nor are we close to the stage where we can tell people to take masks.
“We are encouraging society – that what they are doing now is making an impact. Suspending the sale of alcohol has saved our employees and space in hospitals,” Mkhize said.