KZN private hospitals to erect temporary structures to deal with COVID patients

The province’s Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that both public and private health facilities were under severe strain as they battled the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country.

FILE: A South African hospital worker walks amongst patients in a COVID-19 ward. Picture: AFP

DURBAN - Private hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal have been granted permission to erect temporary structures in order to deal with overwhelming numbers of COVID-19 patients.

The province’s Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said that both public and private health facilities were under severe strain as they battled the highest number of active COVID-19 cases in the country.

ALSO READ: Active COVID-19 cases in KZN of ‘great concern’ – NICD

Experts said that KwaZulu-Natal was yet to reach the peak of the second wave of infections.

Simelane-Zulu said that private hospitals had been worst affected by the exponential increase in COVID-19 cases during the festive season.

“Some hospitals have requested permission from the Department of Health to put up temporary structures outside of their facilities, we are okay with that. We have agreed purely because we realised that they are under pressure and they don’t have enough beds in their facilities.”

ALSO READ: KZN, Gauteng, Limpopo private hospital admissions show 8% daily average increase

Simelane-Zulu said they have had to intervene in public health facilities, especially in eThekwini where high infection rates had been recorded.

“In eThekwini, we have close to 20 hospitals. Some of them are struggling but not all of them are full and we have decided that as a province we are going to ensure that we move around patients within the district where it’s necessary for us to do so.”

The MEC has encouraged residents to present themselves early to health institutions if needs be to help reduce severe cases.

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