SA is on stage five out of eight in dealing with Covid-19, says Mkhize

20 May 2020 - 14:54 By Ernest Mabuza
SA is at stage 5 of a programme to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, says health minister Zweli Mkhize.
SA is at stage 5 of a programme to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, says health minister Zweli Mkhize.
Image: Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

SA is now in stage five of an eight-stage programme to manage  the Covid-19 pandemic, health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

Stage 5 deals with surveillance to identify and intervene in hotspots, spatial monitoring of new cases and investigation of outbreaks.

As at Tuesday evening, SA had registered 17,200 cases of Covid-19 and recorded 312 deaths, with 7,960 recoveries.

The country's plan to combat the pandemic was outlined in an eight-stage programme that was revealed by the chair of the ministerial advisory group on Covid-19, Prof Salim Abdool Karim, last month when SA was on stage 4.

According to the plan, the first four stages are:

Stage 1: Preparation

  • Community education
  • Establishing lab capacity
  • Surveillance

Stage 2: Primary prevention

  • Social distancing and handwashing
  • Closing schools and reduced gathering
  • Close the borders to international travel

Stage 3: Lockdown

  • Intensifying curtailment of human interaction

Stage 4: Surveillance and active case-finding

  • The community response: door-to-door screening, testing, isolation and contact tracing

On Tuesday, Mkhize said SA was in stage 5 and also focusing on stages 6, 7 and 8. 

Stage 5: identify and intervene in hotspots, spatial monitoring of new cases and investigation of outbreaks.

Stage 6: Medical care (for the peak)

  • Surveillance on caseload and capacity
  • Managing staff exposures and infections
  • Building field hospitals for triage
  • Expand ICU bed and ventilator numbers

Stage 7: Bereavement and the aftermath

  • Expanding burial capacity
  • Regulations on funerals
  • Managing psychological and social impact

Stage 8: Ongoing vigilance

  • Administer vaccines, if available
  • Ongoing surveillance for new cases.

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