Made in SA: Non-invasive ventilators a huge boon for COVID health workers

Last month, Garden Route officials requested support from the SANDF because the virus cut a swathe through law enforcement officials in the area.

FILE: A nurse holds a South African designed non-invasive ventilator. Picture: CSIR.

CAPE TOWN - There is high praise for the efficacy of government’s locally designed non-invasive ventilators on Monday.

Gift of the Givers founder and CEO Imtiaz Sooliman said on Monday these devices helped reduce pressure on intensive care units in hospitals.

“These machines, a product of South African engineering, are life-saving, very effective in bringing about oxygen saturation very quickly, reduces lung damage, and also saves the ICU, meaning that very few people need to go on ventilators in ICU if they are put on to these machines early," the disaster relief group's leader said.

READ: Local team of experts produces non-invasive mechanical ventilators

Gift of the Givers helped distribute the machines across the Garden Route. Sooliman said that over the next two days, 250 ventilators would be delivered.

“Eighteen hundred have been distributed in seven days to six provinces. The reviews and the feedback from medical personnel in terms of intensivists, [intensive care unit] physicians, nursing managers and CEOs is heartwarming," he said.

READ: Small wins inside the COVID-19 storm: How SA is reviving hope and the economy

The Garden Route recorded more than 29,000 COVID-19 cases and was one of the Western Cape's first hotspot areas to be placed under lockdown restrictions during the second wave of the coronavirus.

But the local government there said this district passed the peak of the second wave and was showing an active decline.

Last week, Police Minister Bheki Cele said soldiers would be deployed to Garden Route beaches to ensure people were adhering to lockdown regulations, which closed several beaches across the country. Last month, Garden Route officials requested support from the SANDF because the virus cut a swathe through law enforcement officials in the area.

READ: Soldiers deployed to Garden Route beaches to enforce lockdown rules

In December, AfriForum and the Great Brak Business Forum took those COVID-19 regulations to court and lost. Before that, the Democratic Alliance lost in the Western Cape High Court on a similar bid.

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