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MEC: Gauteng’s healthcare system ‘remains resilient’ amid third wave

Gauteng’s Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said its system still has capacity to cope with the demand spurred by the third wave of COVID-19

COVID-19 vaccine trial

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Gauteng’s Health Department has said that despite the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, it is still able to manage – particularly now with additional resources being availed to help in its battle against the virus, during the third wave.

The province’s MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi has assured the public that healthcare workers and the department remain committed to tackling the global pandemic, with the help of additional staff that were appointed in the beginning of June.

“Our system might be under pressure, but we still have the will and enough capacity to cope with the demand. We are adding more healthcare personnel to make sure more available beds are fully functional,” Mokgethi said.

Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced last week that members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) have been deployed  to Gauteng, to assist the province as it navigates the third wave of COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19: Gauteng Health’s plans to minimise impact of third wave

MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi further said that Gauteng would be able to optimise its response to the current COVID-19 situation, because it adopted a Risk Adjusted and Demand Informed Strategy.

“We have dedicated Covid-19 functional beds across the province supported by a live electronic COVID-19 Bed Management Dashboard which we use to monitor the utilization of beds across the province,” Mokgethi said.

“In addition to the newly built infrastructure in areas such Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Jubilee Hospital and Bronkhorstspruit Hospital and the repurposed Tshwane District Hospital as an example, wards and beds in other facilities are always repurposed based on the demands of the pandemic at any given the time.”

Gauteng’s MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi

With the aim of minimising the effect of the third wave of COVID-19 infections, the Gauteng Health Department added that it activated resurgence plans across its five districts.

“This includes, intensified COVID-19 screening and testing activities in communities with contacts followed-up appropriately. There is also collaborative work led by other government agencies to  improve law enforcement in various settings to ensure compliance to COVID-19 protocols in line with the national lockdown Alert Level 3,” the department has said.