Zweli Mkhize checks readiness of hospitals for infection peak in Gauteng
Health minister Zweli Mkhize and Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku visited Nasrec and Lenasia hospitals in Johannesburg on Monday to assess their readiness for the Covid-19 peak.
“Today what we are really up to is to see how things are tying up in terms of additional beds available. We are going around to see if Gauteng can show its readiness,” Mkhize said during a media briefing.
He said a reduction of trauma patients brought about by the ban on alcohol sales was a “huge” advantage for the health department.
“It’s going to help us to deal with the next few weeks. I’m quite comfortable with the approach. Our clinicians are on top of the game and they’ve got good enough experience and we can see the impact,” said Mkhize.
Masuku said the provincial department was using its database to hire more staff.
“By the time we get to the peak, this place [Nasrec] will be up and running,” Masuku said.
Mkhize said Gauteng was still the epicentre of Covid-19 infections.
“KwaZulu-Natal is taking over, therefore we are going to be discussing with them how to move ahead so that they do not get caught up with the numbers.
“It should be possible to make sure that whoever they admit, they do not have a challenge with beds and oxygen and that the turnaround times are also reduced,” Mkhize said. “Until the surge hits you, you will not know what to do.”
He said he would be visiting the Eastern Cape later in the week. The Western Cape was stable, he added.
“Soon, the Eastern Cape will stabilise. Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal numbers are still going up.”