Gauteng Health MEC, Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi, has assured the public that healthcare workers and the department remain committed to tackling the third wave of COVID-19 infections.
In addition, the MEC said they will be appointing additional staff to the 5 521 COVID-19 posts filled as of 1 June 2021.
“Despite the health system in Gauteng operating under increased load due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, the province is still able to cope with the pressure at this stage,” said Mokgethi
The MEC acknowledged that the province’s health system is under pressure but believes the institutions have enough capacity to cope with the demand, as Gauteng remains the epicentre.
On Sunday, South Africa recorded 13 155 new infections, of which 8 640 were logged in Gauteng alone.
“We are adding more healthcare personnel to make sure more available beds are fully functional,” she explained, adding that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) is also deploying its medical personnel to ease the burden of the healthcare workers.
The Health MEC pointed out that because the province adopted a risk-adjusted and demand informed strategy, it can optimise its response to the resurgence and the pandemic.
“We have dedicated COVID-19 functional beds across the province supported by a live electronic COVID-19 bed management dashboard, which we use to monitor the utilisation of beds across the province.
In addition, the MEC said, the department will be relying on the newly built infrastructure in Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Jubilee Hospital and Bronkhorstspruit Hospital and the repurposed Tshwane District Hospital.
“Wards and beds in other facilities are always repurposed based on the demands of the pandemic at any given time.”
In the meantime, the department has activated resurgence plans across its five districts to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 third wave.
This includes intensified COVID-19 screening and testing activities in communities with contacts followed up appropriately.
“There is also collaborative work led by other government agencies to improve law enforcement in various settings to ensure compliance to COVID-19 protocols in line with the national lockdown alert level 3.”