Minister of Health Zweli Mhkize provided South Africans with an update on health services in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that lockdown will move down to level 3 from Monday, June 1.
“The lockdown helped us flatten the curve and gave us time to prepare health services,” Mkhize said.
A total of 59 677 tests have been conducted thus far, and 33% of these were done in the Gauteng province.
“The number of hospitalised patients is highest in the Western Cape,” the Minister said. “We are going to see more hospitalisation in all the provinces. We have quarantine sites planned in all provinces, so those with mild symptoms can be placed there.”
“If combined action in hotspots does not work to contain the spread of the infection, we will then consider lockdown on the area.”
The plan to contain the spread in hotspots includes teams of experts being deployed to those areas to ensure each individual is granted the careful care, as well as trying to keep as many people as possible away from hospitals. Instead, they will be treated by teams of GPs and nurses.
“We will focus on contact tracing,” Mkhize said. “To date, 93% of contacts have been monitored in South Africa.”
Each hotspot will also have its own team of experts.
“Field hospitals are important,” the Minister said. “They will ensure people with mild symptoms are in quarantine and prevent the spread of the infection.”
Routine health services will also be opened in the afternoon to help those who have non-COVID-19-related needs such as antenatal care, contraceptives, and diagnosis and care of HIV-positive individuals.
“The unity of South Africans are going to be important in our fight against COVID-19,” the minister concluded.
Picture: Twitter/Zweli Mkhize