Now it’s up to us as storm hits

Health minister Zweli Mkhize, along with premier Oscar Mabuyane attended the official opening and handover of the Rev. Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni Field hospital in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. Pictured here: Medical staff ready for Covid-19 patients to be treated at the field hospital.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize, along with premier Oscar Mabuyane attended the official opening and handover of the Rev. Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni Field hospital in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday. Pictured here: Medical staff ready for Covid-19 patients to be treated at the field hospital.
Image: Werner Hills

The launch of the VW field hospital yesterday could not have come at a more opportune time.

The facility will add 1,485 beds immediately, and once completed, will offer a total of 3,300.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium can accommodate 1,500 people at a time.

These facilities will help supplement the beds at private and public hospitals which are taking strain as the Covid-19 pandemic rears its ugly head.

Netcare hospitals in the city — Greenacres in Port Elizabeth and Cuyler in Uitenhage — have suspended elective surgery and non-urgent medical admissions until further notice.

At public hospitals, the situation is much the same as health staff are forced to prioritise Covid patients.

The crisis that was predicted is now here.

It is now down to ensuring the survival of as many people as possible.

Speaking at the field hospital launch in Port Elizabeth yesterday, health minister Zweli Mkhize said the government had spent a lot of time preparing for the surge.

“We are actually now, as a country, riding into that storm.

“All the preparations that we’ve put in place, we will be making use of at this point,” he said.

“We’ve done as much as could be done with policy and regulation. Now we rely on communities to know what is right.

“You can have all the doctors and numbers but if you can’t reduce the numbers of cases, the numbers that land in hospitals will be larger than what the hospitals can carry,” Mkhize said.

The country has reached more than 100,000 infections and about 2,000 deaths.

Things are, no doubt, about to get worse and the hospitals — and ultimately citizens — will suffer.

We certainly echo Mkhize’s sentiments that it is up to each and every one of us to do what is right.

 

 

 

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