On Sunday, the department reported that an increased number of patients at Steve Biko were sicker and required critical care, with some arriving in groups and putting serious pressure on the facility.
He said the fever tents had been helpful. “A lot of people who come here are not tested and they have to be tested and await for their results. We use fever tents across the province as areas where patients under investigation (PUI) are put,” he said.
Makhura also said in the past seven days, admissions to public hospitals in Gauteng increased from 700 to more than 2,000. He said combined with private hospitals the admissions exceeded 4,000.
“We had prepared for January, that there would be an increase as people come back [from holidays] and the numbers are increasing. The next two weeks are going to be critical on the side of government. We are doing everything in our power, working with our health-care workers,” he said.
According to Makhurathe the Nasrec field hospital will be used again, after it was downscaled when other field hospitals were closed. He said the province was also looking again at the contracts which were in place during the first wave of the pandemic.
“We are going back to Nasrec. Our health-care system was able to cope during the first wave. As we speak now, Nasrec has 500 beds which will be able to deal with critical care and 500 for quarantine,” he said.
Mokgethi said they were managing the stock levels of PPE at hospitals and also managing the availability constantly.
“We had a meeting with all the CEOs of all the hospital to assess our PPE availability and there were no issues around that,” she said.