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Mediclinic News : • WESTERN CAPE SEEKS DEAL WITH PRIVATE HOSPITALS FOR COVID-19 SURGE

Title

• WESTERN CAPE SEEKS DEAL WITH PRIVATE HOSPITALS FOR COVID-19 SURGE

Date

2020-04-23

Link

https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/health/2020-04-21-western-cape-seeks-deal-with-private-hospitals-for-covid-19-surge/

News Description

BusinessLive While the province has recorded 1,010 cases since early March, but it warned on Tuesday that community transmission had “taken off” and the number of cases would rise rapidly when the national lockdown was eased. Its modelling projected 80,000 people would be infected when the epidemic peaked in early August. “It is going to be tough,” said Western Cape head of health Keith Cloete. “I have teams working round the clock to prepare,” he said. At least 80% of Covid-19 patients were expected to be able to recover safely at home, but the province’s public hospitals still faced a projected shortfall of 1,000 acute-care hospital beds and 750 intensive-care unit (ICU) beds, said Cloete. The provincial health department was building field hospitals with capacity for 1,300 beds to accommodate patients who were not critically ill. But it faced a far bigger challenge in stepping up its ICU bed capacity as it was hamstrung by a shortage of critical-care nurses, said Cloete. The department considered its shortage of critical-care nurses a more pressing problem than ventilator capacity, which Cloete conceded was also limited. About 1,000 people had responded to the province’s call for volunteers, but few of them were critical-care nurses, he said. The health department had limited scope to draw on ventilators in the private sector, as they were largely located in the Cape Town metropolitan area yet the need would be all over the province, said Cloete. Public health facilities in the Western Cape had 432 ventilators and 100 were on order, he said. Covid-19 is a potentially fatal respiratory disease, which in severe cases attacks the lungs. There is no cure. The main treatment for patients struggling to breathe is supplementary oxygen. Patients in severe respiratory distress are sedated and put on ventilators, which push oxygen into their lungs. The national health department’s acting director-general, Anban Pillay, told MPs in April that SA had half the ventilators needed for the expected Covid-19 surge. The Western Cape has the second-largest number of confirmed cases; Gauteng has the highest with more than 1,199 cases. Cloete said the Western Cape employed 14,000 health-care workers, of whom 47 had so far tested positive for Covid-19.
Created at 2020/04/29 11:34 AM by Mediclinic
Last modified at 2020/04/29 11:34 AM by Mediclinic