South Africa: The Third Wave of Covid-19 Is Coming. These Are the Lessons We've Learnt and That Hospitals Must Apply

opinion

Being prepared for the third Covid-19 wave hitting us is crucial. While getting a vaccine is a matter of national and international concern, there are small, low-cost high-impact strategies that can be put in place in every hospital right now that will strengthen our healthcare system.

South Africa was widely praised for successfully flattening the curve of the first wave of Covid-19. Early, strict lockdown measures, including a ban on alcohol, allowed the health system to prepare for a surge of cases.

When the first wave eventually hit, the number of cases was lower than expected. Hospitals and clinics had set up screening and triage of patients, additional oxygen, human resource and bed capacity had been created -- even if sometimes wastefully-- guidelines were in place and emergency departments weren't overloaded with victims of alcohol-related violence and car accidents.

During the early days of the lockdown, the country's overall death rate was even lower than it was the year before.

In addition to early prevention measures, the first wave was characterised by multiple external introductions of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, into South Africa, before local transmission started in earnest. People coming by air from Europe transmitted the virus...

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.