The Eastern Cape has seen a spike in the number of positive Covid-19 infections over the past few weeks. The outbreaks have been happening in some districts in the province, causing a 50% weekly spike in numbers.
Dr Thobile Mbengashe, special advisor for Eastern Cape's Premier said the province has a plan in place to deal with the sudden increase in cases.
"We have a plan that is focused on a local response to the pandemic. What is going to happen is to really reinforce some of the key elements of the level 1 lockdown."
He said this would be done by reinforcing wearing masks, avoiding big crowds and testing people for Covid-19.
More than 3000 hospitals in the province were turned into hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients.
"In Nelson Mandela area where we have a big challenge of ICU. Currently there are about 1023 patients that are in hospitals, 900 of those are actually in general wards. In the ICU we have about 106 patients and most of those are in high care the other ones are actually on ventilators,"
"We think that the best strategy is to really manage and drop the cases and we think the next 2-3 weeks is going to make a difference.
Health Minister, Zweli Mkhize visited hospitals in the Eastern Cape this week to find a way forward. He said the outbreaks in the province must be dealt with quickly before they get out of control.
“If we don’t do so, that is the beginning of the pandemic getting out of control. It is still very possible that we can suppress this wave and therefore delay the resurgence. We do need to go out into the community and try to reduce this as much as possible,” Mkhize said.
The Minister expressed his concern for some healthcare workers who have been experiencing exhaustion.
“Staff exhaustion is an issue of major concern. It is not necessarily the work-load, but the emotional and mental well-being too. The worry of thinking you may infect your loved ones when returning home,” Mkhize said.
He thanked healthcare workers for the work that they have done for the country since the start of the pandemic.
“We salute our healthcare heroes for the dedication that they have shown throughout the pandemic to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” Mkhize said.