A fire broke out on April 16 at Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, shining the spotlight on health and safety in public hospitals. (Photo: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Morapedi Masashe)
Gauteng is seeing a sustained increase in coronavirus cases during the third wave of the pandemic and the province leads the country in the number of active cases. As hospital admissions increase, Prime Minister David Makhura has pledged to reopen Charlotte Maxeke University Hospital and help resolve water cuts.
The Gauteng government is working tirelessly with stakeholders to reopen Charlotte Maxeke Teaching Hospital and help address water shortages at Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa hospitals to ensure patients receive adequate care during the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister David Makhura said in a briefing on Friday.
Makhoura described the water cuts and the closure of Charlotte Maxeke, which was evacuated and closed for six weeks due to fire damage, as aggravating factors affecting the province’s response to the surge in Covid-19 cases.
“If Charlotte Maxeke opens later in July, it will be too late. If we don’t get a constant supply of water now, in the middle of the third wave, as the numbers increase and the pressure builds on the system, to get that help later in August, it will be too late, ”he said. declared the first.
He said the province currently had more than 17,000 active cases of Covid-19, up from around 2,000 cases in its last Report on the pandemic three weeks ago. Gauteng leads the country in active cases, followed by Free State and Northern Cape, both of which have just over 8,500 active cases.
Nationwide, 5,361 new cases were reported Thursday, of which about 3,000 were from Gauteng. Nearly 2,900 coronavirus patients are currently hospitalized in private and public institutions in the province.
“The numbers are going to get big and we expect them to continue to increase until June,” said Professor Bruce Mellado, director of the Institute for Collider Particle Physics at Wits University and a board member. Provincial Coronavirus Advisory.
Makhura warned: “It’s easy when you get to 3,000 to reach 4,000 in less than a week, to get to 5,000, to get to 6,000. Let’s not forget that we have reached 6,500. daily cases in the first wave and 6,900 in the second wave.
“We are in the middle of the third wave and what happens each week is of great importance to whether the pandemic is growing or slowing down. We don’t see evidence of better compliance [to non-pharmaceutical measures]. “
The Prime Minister has warned that the closure of Charlotte Maxeke is straining other health facilities where patients have been referred.
Infrastructure Development MEC Tasneem Motara said engineers said the structural foundations of the hospital were strong.
She said renovations to the oncology unit, whose patients have reportedly struggled to find care in alternative facilities, were completed on Friday and will be subject to a final inspection on Monday.
“Gauteng province cannot afford to shut down Charlotte Maxeke University Hospital amid a raging pandemic. We can’t afford to shut it down at all and over the last few weeks we have been working day in and day out seven days a week with the two MECs here, the MEC of health and the MEC of infrastructure development, ”said Makhura. .
Although engineers found the majority of Charlotte Maxeke’s structural foundations to be sound, provincial officials said the hospital is not fully compliant with occupational health and safety regulations.
Motara said the hospital was built when government buildings were not required to submit construction plans to the municipality and a number of regulatory loopholes were uncovered in recent inspections.
Makhura said the province would attempt to declare a state of disaster to ensure the hospital can reopen before it fixes its shortcomings in health and safety regulations, which he suggested as minor.
“We want to declare a local state of disaster in Charlotte Maxeke because declaring a local state of disaster is something that we have discussed, explored with our legal teams, with the clinicians. Declaring a local state of disaster may allow us not to wait three months for all these problems to be resolved, ”said the Prime Minister.
He added: “We cannot go through the whole month of June without Charlotte Maxeke, because if not, how are all the institutions going to fare? I can’t throw away a rule book when people die.
The services of the Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa hospitals were interrupted last week due to disruptions in the water supply. Makhura stressed that the water supply is not a provincial responsibility, but said he spoke to Rand Water executives who assured him the situation has been resolved.
Provincial officials said they had liaised with stakeholders to ensure hospitals would have sufficient water supplies if the outages continued.
“The health system cannot function without an adequate water supply,” Makhura said.
According to provincial officials, nearly 150,000 people were vaccinated in Gauteng when the government rolled out the vaccine. More than 480,000 eligible residents over the age of 60 have registered for the online system to obtain the vaccine, and authorities have encouraged more people to register.
They encouraged all residents eligible for the vaccine under the current phase of the vaccine deployment program to visit one of the 103 vaccination sites in Gauteng. They said eligible residents would be helped to register and get vaccinated, depending on the supply, and no one would be turned away. DM
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This notice was published: 2021-06-04 12:54:48