COVID-19: SANDF medical teams to be deployed to ECape

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane says additional health workers will be brought in to fight the coronavirus. Courtesy of #DStv403

PORT ELIZABETH - Medical teams from the South African National Defence Force will be deployed to the Eastern Cape to help as the province's health facilities are being overrun by COVID-19 cases.

The Eastern Cape has had more than 26,000 confirmed infections and close to 400 deaths.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane also addressed the dumping of used COVID-19 test kits along the side of the N2 highway.

READ: Hundreds of used COVID-19 test kits found dumped

He said he wants answers.

"Government of the Eastern Cape has been on a negative, unfortunately, on something we were almost clueless about, because it was from a small lab in a hospital, to the bigger lab for processing of specimen," he said.

Mabuyane is urging residents to stay at home as the coronavirus pandemic is expected to reach its peak in the province in the coming days.

READ: COVID-19: Eastern Cape premier calls for medical reinforcements

It is the education system that's the real worry, with at least three pupils dying from the virus.

More than 1,500 people in the Eastern Cape's education system have been infected with COVID-19 and the number of deaths is creeping up.

At least three pupils and eight teachers have died.

READ: Sadtu wants Eastern Cape schools to shut down

Eastern Cape Education MEC Fundile Gade said, "in terms of the unconfirmed statistics of the Department of Health to us, it's 25 but the confirmed ones it's 15. Out of that 15, we have got learners that are three, we have got four that are non-teaching staff and eight that are teachers."

Gade said the province proposes that the reopening of schooling for other grades be delayed.

The MEC believes the reopening of schools should depend on the impact of and rise in infections.

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The NICD has another Clinician Hotline to improve #COVID19 communication and support for healthcare providers. The Clinician Hotline is 0800 11 1131, operating 24 hrs. The Public Hotline is 0800 029 999 also operating 24hrs.