Acting Gauteng Health MEC, Jacob Mamabolo, has expressed his disappointment after the discovery of personal protective equipment (PPE) dumped in a river in Pretoria was made.
Mamabolo was alerted of the discovery during an inspection of facilities across the province on Sunday. The footage, which has been circulating on social media, shows the equipment floating in a river in Irene, Pretoria.
“The Acting MEC visited the site where the said PPE was dumped. He expressed disappointment that people would dump PPE during a global pandemic and additionally pollute the environment. He called on the police to track down whoever is responsible and ensure that they are brought to book.
"The MEC has directed the [provincial Department of Health] to check if any of the PPE matches those at our various storage facilities,” the department said in a statement.
Starting last Friday, Mamabolo has visited various health facilities across the province, interacting with senior managers and visiting PPE storage facilities in the process.
The department said that the visits were to ensure the ongoing comprehensive health response to COVID-19 while MEC Dr Bandile Masuku is on special leave.
Mamabolo has visited three warehouses in Centurion, Roodepoort and Vanderbiljpark to inspect PPE stock levels.
He also visited various facilities in the following five districts: regional hospitals (Sebokeng, Thelle Mogoerane, Pholosong, Far East Rand, Mamemlodi, Leratong, Thambo Memorial and Edenvale); district hospitals (Kopanong, Bertha Gxowa, Jubilee, Yusuf Dadoo, Caltonville, Heideliberg and Tshwane District Hospital); tertiary hospitals (Hellen Joseph, Kalafong and Thembisa) and academic hospitals (Chris Hani Baaragwanath, Chrlotte Maxeke, Dr George Mkhari and Steve Biko), including Johan Heyns Community Health Centre and Sterkfkontein Specialised Hospital.
At the hospitals, Mamabolo discussed the management of confirmed COVID-19 positive patients, patients under investigation and the fever tents that are meant to augment designated wards for COVID-19 with senior clinical staff.
Facilities were also called on to provide updates on the rate of COVID-19 infection among staff members.
Mamabolo also interacted with organised labour, who filled the MEC in on the latest developments concerning the provision of PPE to staff members. Some of the unions expressed satisfaction, while others raised concerns about the quantity of PPE provided.
Mamabolo concluded by saying that the findings will help to strengthen the provincial government’s response to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“Our priority continues to be saving lives and mobilising sectors of society to work together with government in the fight against Coronavirus,”.