‘Up to 80% in East Cape likely to get Covid-19’

Eastern Cape Coronavirus Command Council chair and premier Oscar Mabuyane says his government will remain resolute in its efforts to combat Covid-19
GOOD FIGHT: Eastern Cape Coronavirus Command Council chair and premier Oscar Mabuyane says his government will remain resolute in its efforts to combat Covid-19
Image: MICHAEL PINYANA

About 80% of people in the Eastern Cape are likely to contract Covid-19.

The estimate, by the Eastern Cape department of health, is contained in a report presented to the Eastern Cape Coronavirus Command Council.

Of those infected, 80% are expected to present mild symptoms or to be asymptomatic, 15% might require admission to hospital and 5% are likely to need high care.

Between about 1% and 3% of infected people might die from the virus, the report said.

By Monday, the Eastern Cape had recorded 4,111 Covid-19 cases, 82 deaths and 2,123 recoveries.

Premier Oscar Mabuyane, who chairs the provincial command council, said his  government was saddened by the loss of lives, but would remain resolute in its efforts to work with its social partners and the public to fight the virus.

“We welcome the report of the department of health, which details its operations for screening, testing, quarantine and isolation of people with the virus,” Mabuyane said.

He said the provincial government would continue to support the health department by providing it with all the required resources to fight the virus.

Livingstone Hospital board chair Pula Lonake encouraged individuals, the government and the public to join hands for the greater good.

Lonake told The Herald on Tuesday that hospitals in the metro at the forefront of efforts to fight Covid-19 welcomed the collective effort by the government, private sector, foundations and individuals to protect health workers.

“In addition to the equipment we already had, we have been greatly assisted by a number of donors throughout and are very grateful for the support.

“We do welcome and encourage for more equipment to be sent to hospitals because PPE is very key in ensuring the safety of our health workers while they dedicate [themselves] to saving lives,” he said.

“Whatever challenges we face with regards to equipment, we can always solve [them] if we all work together and get rid of the ‘us and them’ syndrome, which separates us from the government.

“We must all be in this together in practice so that we are able to overcome and, with that said, we are grateful for what the government and our various donors continue to support us with,” he said.

Dora Nginza Hospital CEO Patrick Tsibolane said: “Since the first protest we had about PPE, we’ve not had any further protests [because] the depot supplied us with adequate supplies of PPE even though we have more patients requiring more PPE but we’re coping.

“Staff are, however, not happy with the new gowns available from the depot but we have managed to convince the staff to use them. "​

The report said the health department had distributed to health facilities across the province more than 18-million aprons, 15,229 biohazard bags, 32,945 boot covers, 786,260 goggles/face shields/visors, 42,469 gowns, 717,140 particulate respirators (grade N95), more than 1-million surgical masks, 34,761 coveralls, 557,724 surgical gloves, more than 1.7-million examination gloves and 246,238 1l bottles of sanitiser.

Of these, medical facilities in Nelson Mandela Bay had received 459,800 pairs of gloves, 12.9-million aprons, 2,077 bottles of disinfectant, 595 pairs of goggles, 15,508 gowns (different types), 20,755 bottles of sanitiser of various sizes, more than 1-million masks (different types), 478 overshoes, 24,035 thermometers and 85 visors.

By Monday, at least 29 people had died from Covid-19 in Nelson Mandela Bay, with 18 deaths recorded in the OR Tambo district, 14 in the Chris Hani district, 12 in the Buffalo City metro, four in the Amathole district, four in Sarah Baartman and one in the Joe Gqabi district municipality.

Of the fatalities, 26.3% were aged between 30 and 39, 21.3% between 40 and 49, 15.5% between 50 and 59,15.4% in the 20-29 age group, 8.2% between 60 and 69, 5.2% between 10 and 19, 4.3% aged 70 and above, and 3.1% in the 0-9 age group.

According to the report, 191 public and private health-care workers — 71 of whom are from the Bay — had tested positive for the virus.

Of the rest, 63 were from Buffalo City, 28 from OR Tambo, 14 from Amathole, eight from Chris Hani, three from Sarah Baartman, two from Joe Gqabi and two from Alfred Nzo.

About 21,451 people in the province had been placed in quarantine in their homes, with 599 quarantined at various facilities and 687 in isolation, the report said.

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