Oxygen demand surges in Gauteng as Covid-19 cases rise

President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Gauteng premier David Makhura and Gauteng MEC for health Bandile Masuku, visiting a quarantine site a few weeks ago.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Gauteng premier David Makhura and Gauteng MEC for health Bandile Masuku, visiting a quarantine site a few weeks ago.
Image: FREDDY MAVUNDA

The Gauteng health department has seen an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases over the past two weeks, resulting in a high demand for oxygen and ventilators, it said on Sunday.

The total number of confirmed cases in the province on Saturday stood at 34,285, with 8,580 recoveries and 166 deaths.

A total of 1,332 people were currently in both public and private hospitals.

“As more Covid-19 cases are reported, the number of admissions and bed occupancy rate for critical patients has increased which put more pressure on ventilators, oxygen points and oxygen supplies.”

The department has done the following to try to deal with this: 

  • Strengthen referrals to isolation and quarantine sites 
  • Open up more isolation and quarantine sites to meet increasing demand 
  • Continue with procurement of ventilators and other equipment 
  • Ensure availability of oxygen supply and oxygen points in the wards 

The most affected area in Gauteng is Johannesburg with 16,712 cases and 84 deaths. followed by Ekurhuleni with 7,196 cases and 33 deaths, then Tshwane (5,381 cases and 21 deaths), Sedibeng (1,207 cases and 16 deaths), and the West Rand (2,247 and 12 deaths). 

On Thursday, health MEC Bandile Masuku said Gauteng currently had 8,301 hospital beds, which were made up of private and public hospital beds.

These, said Masuku, included 1,142 ICU and high care unit beds.

Gauteng's current hospital bed capacity includes: 

* 5,251 private hospital adult general ward beds;

* 977 state hospital adult general ward beds;

* 805 private hospital pediatric beds;

* 126 state hospital pediatric beds;

* 749 private hospital adult ICU and high care unit beds; and

* 393 state hospital adult ICU and high care unit beds.


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