Citizen Reporter
3 minute read
11 Jan 2021
10:35 am

WATCH: Makhura visits Steve Biko Hospital as Covid-19 second wave grips Gauteng

Citizen Reporter

Two additional 'fever tents' were constructed over the weekend, to accommodate the renewed increase in Covid-19 cases. 

Gauteng Premiere addresses the media outside a field hospital by the entrance to Steve Biko Academic Hospital where Gauteng Premiere David Makhura visited, 11 January 2020, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Disturbing images and videos doing the rounds on social media of the state of Covid-19 infections at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane have put into sharp focus the effect the second wave is having on Gauteng’s healthcare system

A sharp increase in Covid-19 patients has been observed at the hospital since December last year. 

In a statement released by the Gauteng health department on Sunday, patients being admitted are reported to be more ill and require critical care. 

Patients are also arriving in groups, and others are being referred to the hospital from private and public healthcare faculties in Gauteng, the North West, Mpumalanga and Limpopo, putting additional strain on a facility already struggling due to the pandemic.

ALSO READ: Watch: Steve Biko hospital battling massive influx of Covid-19 patients

Gauteng Premier David Makhura and health MEC in the province, Nomathemba Mokgethi, visited the hospital on Monday morning. 

As of Sunday evening, Gauteng had 328,925 Covid-19 cases, with 6142 deaths and 276,998 recoveries.

Early last year, the Tshwane District Hospital was converted into a Covid-19 treating facility – in partnership with Steve Biko Hospital – to increase the amount of beds designated for virus patients. 

But despite early interventions, this facility was now under additional pressure, with many patients presenting symptoms that can only be treated in certain hospitals. 

Makhura said on Monday morning that there are currently 95 beds at the Tshwane hospital dedicated to Covid-19 patients. 43 of these beds are currently occupied.

He added that other medical and health services will be scaled down to prioritise Covid-19 patients.

The images that emerged on social media were of the Steve Biko emergency unit area, which is currently taking in patients in the Priority Three category. Priority Three patients are those who are close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 patients, including contacts who are asymptomatic.

However, the hospital has not turned away any patients yet. 

Two additional “fever tents” were constructed over the weekend, to accommodate the renewed increase in Covid-19 cases. 

Updates to follow as more information is made available.

Compiled by Nica Richards.

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