Gauteng sees significant rise in COVID hospitalisations, new infections

The council's doctor Fareed Adullah said healthcare facilities – including Pretoria's Steve Biko Academic Hospital – were experiencing a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients.

Professional healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) attend to a patient inside the temporary ward dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients at Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria on 11 January 2021. Picture: Phill Magakoe/AFP

JOHANNESBURG – As coronavirus infections continue to surge, The South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) has said that hospitals in Gauteng were again feeling the pressure.

The province which is currently in a third wave has over 15,500 active cases, the highest in the country.

While over 2,260 people are currently hospitalised in public and private facilities.

The council's doctor Fareed Adullah said healthcare facilities – including Pretoria's Steve Biko Academic Hospital – were experiencing a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients.

“We have seen a significant increase in hospital admissions for COVID. So, there is now what I would call a steep rise in admissions, in addition to that we have seen a significant rise in new cases. The trajectory of the rise in cases in Gauteng is starting to be very steep, and we have certainly overtaken the North West.”

SA HAS ENOUGH OXYGEN SUPPLY

Meanwhile, the research council has said that South Africa has enough oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients and there is no need to panic.

According to data provided by the Every Breath Counts Coalition, the non-governmental organisation Path, as well as the Clinton Health Access Initiative – South Africa is among a host of countries which could be most at risk of running out of oxygen as COVID-19 cases surge.

Other countries include India, Pakistan and Argentina.

A recent report compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism shows that South Africa is amount 19 countries that are at risk of running out of oxygen supply as the third wave of COVID infections engulfs the country.

However, the SAMRC has allayed fears.

"Oxygen supply can get limited and we must ensure that no hospital or clinic, or any other facility is in a position where we can't offer oxygen to patients."

The World Health Organisation has warned a shortage of oxygen could see the total collapse of health systems, especially in poorer countries.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.