South Africa: Gauteng Health Dept in Consultations With Private Hospital Groups, As COVID-19 Cases Rise in Province

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The Gauteng Department of Health says that it is still in consultation with private hospital groups for resources, while the number of confirmed cases continues to rise in the highly populated province.

"We have been in engagements with the private sector to see how resources can be pooled beyond just bed capacity," spokesperson Kwara Kekana told News24 on Monday.

"Consultations are ongoing as the situation develops."

As of 22 March 2020, South Africa had 274 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

A total of 132 cases out of the 274 are in Gauteng alone.

The comes after Gauteng Health MEC Bandile Masuku, together with Premier David Makhura and members of the executive, announced measures last week to help minimise the spread of the deadly virus - which originated in Wuhan, China - in the province.

Some of the measures outlined by the provincial government are:

- Vulnerable members of the public, such as the elderly, will be vaccinated;

- Members of the public will have to notify police of gatherings, like funerals and weddings, at their local police station for monitoring purposes;

- Members of the public will have to adhere to the 100-person restriction as directed by President Cyril Ramaphosa;

- Law enforcement will be used to ensure compliance; and

- 249 tracers, made up of 9 000 community health workers, are currently being trained to monitor families in self-quarantine.

Masuku said that spaces would be announced for patients who could not quarantine in private.

He added that the department was in consultation with a private hospital group for 250 beds on the West Rand.

"We are meeting today with labs for example, so the engagements are ongoing.

"That is what we are sharing for now," Kekana told News24.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu has said the president will address the nation on Monday evening.

"At that stage, the president would have finalised measures to be undertaken to mitigate impact of the virus to our people and the economy," Kekana said.

The time of the address is yet to be confirmed.


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