Some private healthcare providers reveal plans to deal with COVID fourth wave

The Health Department has been getting ready for an expected fourth wave and the private health sector has joined in.

FILE: Two patients with COVID-19, one (L) breathing in oxygen, in the COVID-19 ward at Khayelitsha Hospital, about 35km from the centre of Cape Town, on 29 December 2020. Picture: RODGER BOSCH/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - With the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections expected in the next two weeks, the CEOs of private healthcare providers have weighed in on where the country stands at the moment and what is being done to provide vaccines.

The Health Department has been getting ready for an expected fourth wave and the private health sector has joined in.

As the expected fourth wave approaches, some healthcare providers have revealed their plans to help stop the new variant.

Aspen Pharmacare has made news headlines, announcing a deal to produce its own brand using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

CEO Stephen Saad said that this would be a major boost for Africa.

"It's a massive breakthrough for Africa given that on the continent we import 99% of our vaccines," Saad said.

When asked what Discovery was doing, chief executive Adrian Gore said that they had been making sure that staff were vaccinated, with good results.

"We've entered the fourth wave which is obviously very worrying but we have 95% [of staff] vaccinated, which is very important," Gore said.

However, Netcare CEO, Dr Richard Friedland, said that they were concerned that despite the vaccinations, some people would still be infected.

"People who are vaccinated, either with the single or double booster, are still getting infected," Friedland noted.

All agree that the next few weeks would reveal the severity of the new variant.