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COVID-19: Western Cape health system under pressure

Covid 19

The Western Cape has become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. It has more deaths and confirmed cases than any other province. The province’s health department’s Keith Cloete said 120 people tested positive for COVID-19 at the Tygerberg Hospital.

“As of yesterday (Thursday), 120 people were positive. It’s the single-biggest institution with the single-biggest number of positive staff,” said Cloete. Cloete confirmed that two nurses and a household aid have died. He said the health system has been under pressure for a while. We can understand the anxiety that staff members face on a daily basis. Some of the people work through many stressful situations,” said Cloete.

“We are going into a situation where these cases will increase. It is going to be more difficult over the weeks that are coming. Cloete said his department is negotiating with the private sector to potentially have access to additional critical care capacity.


We are hoping to increase our capacity, but that will take some time because we need more additional staffing. The issue here is about having access to critical staffing,” he said. The province is also probing all unexplained deaths. Ever since COVID-19 became a reality, we have instituted quite strict criteria for all unexplained deaths,” Cloete said.

“Therefore if there’s an unexplained death, we are putting a high alert to be on the lookout for COVID. Coronavirus Hotline Number: 0800 029 999 from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. Help protect your loved ones by sharing this official South African government COVID-19 service with your family, friends and community.

Send HI to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp. 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.

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Source: eNCA