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Nurse on her New Year's experience: 'Believe you me, people are testing positive'

Bara hospital trauma area clear of patients on New Year's Day but Covid cases persist

01 January 2021 - 14:01 By alex patrick
Professional nurse Busi Ramafoko works at the resuscitation bay in the at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.
Professional nurse Busi Ramafoko works at the resuscitation bay in the at Chris Hani  Baragwanath Hospital.
Image: Supplied Gauteng Health Department

Professional nurse Busi Ramafoko, who works at the resuscitation bay at the Chris Hani  Baragwanath Hospital, said this New Year's has been very different from previous years in terms of the number of patients she saw and the reasons for them being in the hospital.

The resuscitation bay is an emergency assessment area for critical patients that need stabilisation and resuscitation when coming in for care. The bay is traditionally attached to the trauma unit of a hospital.

Ramafoko has been working in the 'resus' bay for nine years and has worked on both New Year's Eve and New Year's Day each year during that time. But she said 2021 was different from the other years she has worked.

Every New Year is busy in a hospital as big as Baragwanath, but this year the influx of patients was as a result of the coronavirus instead of trauma from the accidents associated with revelry, drinking and fireworks.

She thanked President Cyril Ramaphosa for the lockdown which she said had alleviated the burden at the hospital and given it more capacity for health workers to focus on the job at hand.

“I would really like to urge all South Africans to adhere to the Covid-19 regulations, sanitise your hands, wash your hands, keep social distancing and, above all, properly wear your mask, it will protect you — because injury is an accident. Once you are injured you come to our unit before you are dispatched anywhere. For further management we have to make sure of your Covid results and, believe you me, people are testing positive. And they'll also be puzzled because most of them are asymptomatic. Being asymptomatic does not mean you will not be affected by the disease.”

Ramafoko thanked those who were adhering to the regulations. “Keep it up and let us save our people.” 

The `Gauteng government said for the first time, `Bara's emergency room was clear of trauma patients on New Year's, as a result of the 9pm curfew.