Gauteng GP describes struggle of finding beds for severely ill COVID patients

Dr Sheri Fanaroff, who is a member of the Gauteng General Practitioners Collaboration, said that they were having to send severely ill COVID-19 patients home to recover.

FILE: A professional healthcare worker wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) treats a patient in a tent dedicated to the treatment of possible COVID-19 coronavirus patients, while another cleans the ward at the Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria on 10 July 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - General practitioners said that they were feeling the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic as they tried to monitor severely ill COVID-19 patients at home while struggling to find beds in private and public hospitals.

The country is in the grip of a third wave of COVID-19 infections - over 9,000 more people have been infected with the virus in the country over the last 24-hour reporting cycle.

In Gauteng, experts were deeply concerned about the high number of infections, with over 6,000 of those cases detected in Gauteng.

Doctor Sheri Fanaroff is a member of the Gauteng General Practitioners Collaboration.

She said that they were having to send severely ill COVID-19 patients home to recover.

"We are forced to send our patients, sometimes by ambulance, sometimes by car, to casualty. They sometimes wait outside casualty in cars, in ambulances lined up even outside hospitals to get into casualty. Once they're inside casualty they do get helped - they get oxygen and they get triaged."

Dr Fanaroff said that some of their patients who reported to casualty in private and public hospitals were lucky to secure a bed in the facility.

"Many of the patients are actually sent home with medication and if they can source oxygen at home, some of them are on oxygen at home. We feel strongly that the general practitioners are taking a lot of the brunt of the pandemic at the moment."

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