Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize is currently conducting oversight visits at Gauteng healthcare facilities, as part of his tour to provinces bogged down by Covid-19 case loads.
Mkhize is currently at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane, along with Gauteng health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize will be conducting an oversight visit to various healthcare facilities in Gauteng today. See details below: pic.twitter.com/w7T2At68GC
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) January 19, 2021
Mkhize recently concluded a visit to hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal, following the high rate of infections and consequent pressures on the province’s healthcare system.
He reported that oxygen use had spiked in the province, due to the increase in Covid-19 cases.
Luckily, Mkhize said in KwaZulu-Natal, the sale of alcohol provided “huge relief” to many major hospitals across the country, due to the decrease in trauma cases.
Steve Biko Hospital saw a sharp increase in Covid-19 patients since December last year. A series of images and videos made their way onto social media, with reports of recent admitted patients being more ill and requiring critical care.
Both the private and public healthcare systems across the country are struggling to cope with the amount of new cases, combined with the virus’s new variant, 501.V2. The variant has 23 new mutations, and is an estimated 50% more transmissible than previous variants.
Steve Biko’s emergency unit area has been converted into tents for patients, along with additional “fever tents”.
As of Monday evening, Gauteng still had the highest number of Covid-19 cases.
The cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 346 936 with a total of 9 010 new cases identified since the last report. pic.twitter.com/DuRkQArDoH
— Department of Health: COVID-19 (@COVID_19_ZA) January 18, 2021
After his visit to Steve Biko Hospital, Mkhize is scheduled to visit Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg.
Compiled by Nica Richards.