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SANDF medics deployed as Covid-19 surges in Gauteng

18 June 2021 - 08:13 By amanda khoza
A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine in SA. File photo.
A woman receives a Covid-19 vaccine in SA. File photo.
Image: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said on Friday that the SANDF military health service was being deployed in Gauteng to ease the burden on health practitioners as Covid-19 surges in the province. 

“What we have decided after meeting with the president and the ministry of defence is that the military has been deployed to the province. What this will do is to assist with the capacity of the beds, they will help us ... with beds and human capacity,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

Kubayi-Ngubane, along with a panel of experts, briefed the nation on progress made by the government in its efforts to curb the pandemic, including an update on the national vaccination rollout.

“Looking at the past couple of days the numbers have been above 10,000,” she said. 

She added that the government was concerned about Gauteng.

“Gauteng is becoming one of the areas that we are really concerned about and we have met with them in trying to bring down the numbers but the numbers are not coming down and that is worrying us.

“The activities we are seeing in Gauteng in terms of people participating in protests and illegal gatherings are worrying. We are appealing to Gauteng residents that can we also respond and save the lives of South Africans, because the health practitioners are starting to feel the pressure.” 

Kubayi-Ngubane was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa into the portfolio after he placed health minister Zweli Mkhize on special leave pending a Special Investigating Unit probe into the irregular awarding of the R150m Digital Vibes tender. 

On Thursday she left her first parliamentary sitting to attend a meeting with Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa placed the country on alert level 3 after an increase in Covid-19 daily infections and a rise in hospital admissions, particularly in Gauteng.