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COVID-19 outbreak in SA's townships spells trouble, says health expert

Dr Jo Barnes, from the department of global health at Stellenbosch University, says given our already crippled healthcare system, we’re in deep trouble if COVID-19 is not contained.

FILE: Shacks along Mew Way in Khayelitsha. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Western Cape confirmed that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is now in the township of Khayelitsha with one confirmed positive case.

According to Dr Jo Barnes, from the department of global health at the University of Stellenbosch, given how densely populated our townships are, this virus is destined to spread like wildfire.

Given our already crippled healthcare system, she says we’re in deep trouble if the virus is not contained.

"Our health system has been under severe strain even before this virus came and we have in total with the public and private sector 3,000 intensive care beds in the country. We are severely under-resourced and we don’t have enough staff."

Dr Barnes added that the country was not well prepared.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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