Mkhize 'confident' in Gauteng's COVID-19 readiness

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize undertook a site visit to two of Gauteng's biggest health care facilities, Steve Biko and Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospitals. He's confident of Gauteng's readiness to deal with a surge. Michael Appel reports. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng health facilities are coping with the current surge in COVID-19 cases.

This according to Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, who conducted a walkabout of two of the province’s biggest hospitals.

He said he is confident in Gauteng's readiness to deal with a surge.

READ: COVID-19 in SA: Shortage of oxygen a concern, says Mkhize

“I am confident that we will handle it. Not that things won’t go wrong.

"There will be problems here and there but nevertheless, this team and health system, with all the weaknesses, is the one that has helped to deal with the health of our people,” he said.

READ: SA will get enough vaccines: Ramaphosa

The minister said it's still too early to be able to say what the migration of holidaymakers back to Gauteng will do to the province's numbers.

“We are holding our fingers crossed because it is still too soon to know what is the impact of the people who are coming from all over, particularly the coastal provinces which had a high level of infection.”

He believes the downward trend in new infections is an indication of the effective use of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

READ: COVID-19 puts women at more risk than men in Gauteng: study

Meanwhile, the CEO of Charlotte Maxeke hospital said the alcohol ban has been the greatest gift healthcare workers could ever have received.

CEO Gladys Bogoshi said, “for the first time for 24 hours, we did not have a single gunshot. Our nurses and doctors went to the helipad for the very first time to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

“On top of the trauma endured by doctors and nurses in the normal course of their work, drunk patients add insult to injury.”

Mkhize says 51,000 healthcare workers have tested positive for COVID-19 and about 600 have lost their lives across the country to date. 


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