Many people are refusing to be quarantined and isolated in the Western Cape.
Among the concerns are not being able to drink, smoke or have sex. Others are worried about their homes and Covid-19 stigma if word gets out they have the virus.
This was announced by the Western Cape government on Thursday.
“The Western Cape is experiencing very high rejection rates to be admitted to Q&I facilities,” the province reported.
“Barriers to acceptance of quarantine and isolation” included the following questions asked most:
- Can I bring my own food? Can I smoke? Can I drink alcohol?
- What about sex?
- Can I leave to visit my family?
- Can I come and go as I please?
- Who will look after my house? Will everyone know I have Covid!
The province has 4 766 facilities for “Q&I” – 898 in the Cape Winelands, 2 276 in the City of Cape Town, 700 on the Garden Route, 319 in the Overberg and 573 on the West Coast. More than 3 700 were still empty.
Officials said “sufficient capacity is in place currently for anyone who needs to be quarantined or isolated”.
To help persuade people to go into quarantine and isolation, the province has ramped up communication strategies, engagement with local leaders, public messaging by local personalities and behaviour-change strategies.
Meanwhile, Premier Alan Winde announced the “peak” was still expected to start in the last week of June – and had thus begun. It could last for two to four weeks – but international experience showed every region had its own dynamics, which could influence how long a “peak” lasted.
To cope, the province has continued ongoing preparations across a wide range of disciplines.
Among these, a dozen refrigerated containers for “mass fatalities” will soon be in place at a Western Cape hospital.
The facility will be able to store 770 Covid-19 corpses, and is being built adjacent to Tygerberg Hospital.
Meanwhile, Winde and his team said 13 patients have now died at the “Hospital of Hope” at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Even though this is an intermediate care facility, some patients also suffer from other medical conditions, which could lead to their deaths, health officials said. The CTICC had admitted 230 in-patients, and discharged 176 since opening.
New facilities that will be ready soon include 338 beds in the Brackengate business precinct, in Brackenfell, while 32 beds are being prepared in Hermanus, 20 in Vredendal and 20 in George.
On a more positive note, the health department reported “positive impact on patient outcomes” from the use of steroids and oxygen.
“The use of steroids has been approved for use on our clinical platform in line with international recommendations and the MAC [Ministerial Advisory Committee] recommendations.
“This will have a significantly positive impact on the clinical outcomes of patients. Steroids are used for ventilated patients and those on high-flow nasal oxygen,” said Dr Saadiq Kariem, the chief of operations.
“Oxygen has been shown to have a significantly positive impact on the clinical outcomes of patients and we are using oxygen in our facilities to manage ill patients. An oxygen calculator has been developed that facilities can use to assess their daily oxygen requirements.
“A predictive model has been developed that shows that our current average oxygen consumption is 12 tons per day and at the peak [based upon current admissions] we will require around 40 tons of oxygen daily.
“Suppliers have been engaged and assured us of a continuous oxygen supply,” he added.