SA Government Slated Over Failure To Prepare For COVID-19 Second Wave

COVID-19
COVID-19. Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplas

The South African Medical Association (SAMA) has attacked the government for its failure to prepare for the COVID-19 second wave.

The Sunday Times reported that SAMA argued that South Africa is not as well-prepared as it was for the first wave. The association also said that the government did not do enough to replace hospital workers who died due to COVID-19.

On 1 January 2021, South Africa reported a record 18,000 new cases.

On 9 December 2020, Health Minister Dr. Zweli Mkhize confirmed that South Africa had entered a second wave.

As of yesterday, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in South Africa is 1 088 889. There were 288 more COVID-19 related deaths reported: Eastern Cape 92, Free State 9, Gauteng 39, Kwa-Zulu Natal 29, Mpumalanga 6, Northern Cape 2, and Western Cape 111.

On 28 December 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would be returning to an adjusted level 3 lockdown.

The Sunday Times reported that it has learnt that despite being informed in September that an audit of 160 hospitals found that most required urgent upgrades to patient oxygen-supply systems, the government has done little to fix the problems.

Meanwhile, Sama has appealed to the government to immediately lift the moratorium on frozen medical posts.

“Sama warned the health department in October that staffing plans needed to be in place when the second wave struck, but there was no desperate effort to employ more staff, especially in the public sector, not even on contract,” said Sama chair Dr Angelique Coetzee.

“With staff ill or on leave … the second wave is overwhelming hospitals. Even if there were available beds, you need people to man them.”

For more read: ‘The second wave is overwhelming hospitals’: Covid-19 bungling flagged

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