'The situation is dire and people are dying': Fana Mokoena voices concerns over Covid-19 surge in KZN

07 January 2021 - 07:00
Former EFF MP Fana Mokoena has voiced concern over the shortage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators in KwaZulu-Natal.
Former EFF MP Fana Mokoena has voiced concern over the shortage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators in KwaZulu-Natal.
Image: LUCKY MORAJANE

Former EFF MP Fana Mokoena has voiced concern over the shortage of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and ventilators in KwaZulu-Natal, urging citizens to be vigilant.

Taking to Twitter this week, Mokoena urged people in the province to take extra care of themselves because hospitals have no capacity.

According to Mokoena, front-line workers in towns like Pietermaritzburg, Ladysmith and Newcastle reported the shortage.

“KZN has absolutely no ICU beds for Covid-19 patients. No more doctors to augment. The situation in KZN is dire and people are dying because there are no ventilators. If you’re still in KZN. Be vigilant and take extra care,” he said.

“Hospitals in KZN are so full even private hospitals have no capacity. The hospital in Mhlanga has makeshift facilities in the parking lot and even that has not been enough.”

Mokoena slammed corruption in government, saying KwaZulu-Natal will be “brought to its knees” because of it.

On Tuesday, TimesLIVE reported that Durban community organisation Muslims for Humanity set up a 20-bed treatment area on the grounds of an overwhelmed Ahmed Al-Kadi Hospital after the facility appealed for help.

The hospital needed to urgently set up a Covid-19 reception and receiving facility after critically ill patients were forced to wait in their cars as the demand for beds increased.

Netcare Group also expressed “extreme concern” over the surge in Covid-19 infections in KwaZulu-Natal, saying it has placed unprecedented demand on its facilities.

Other provinces that are also seeing a surge in infections include Limpopo and the Western Cape.

“We expect this demand to continue in Limpopo and the Western Cape for at least the next two weeks, but unfortunately to increase in KwaZulu-Natal over the same period. Fortunately, we have seen a reduction in cases in the Eastern Cape,” said Netcare.

According to Netcare CEO, Richard Friedland, in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, the number of patients admitted to hospitals far exceeds that experienced in the first wave of the pandemic.

Friedland said Netcare had substantially increased its oxygen capacity at all hospitals and urgently recalled all front-line staff from leave.


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