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Covid-19 health strategies in place

The Western Cape Government continues to open new testing and triage centres across the province in a bid to combat Covid-19.

There are currently 19 of these facilities operational, including four facilities outside the Metro – in Paarl, George, Worcester and Ceres.

A statement from Western Cape Health says an additional 15 facilities will be completed by the first week of July, and some 24 testing and triage facilities will be opened in rural areas of the Western Cape.

“Our third temporary field hospital at Brackengate is on schedule and expected to take its first patient on 10 July. The field hospital will have 330 beds and will provide intermediate care.

“The Sonstraal Hospital in the Cape Winelands will accommodate approximately 150 beds and be undertaken in phases. Sixty-three beds will become available in the first week of July.”

A temporary facility for this purpose is being constructed at Tygerberg Hospital and will be completed by the first week of July. This is being done in conjunction with the City of Cape Town.

The use of steroids in treatment

The use of steroids has been approved for use on clinical platforms, in line with international recommendations and the Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) recommendations. This will have a positive impact on the clinical outcomes of patients infected with Covid-19. These steroids will be used for ventilated patients, and those on high-flow nasal oxygen.The use of oxygen

Oxygen has shown to have a significantly positive impact on the clinical outcomes of patients, and we are using oxygen in our facilities to manage ill patients.

An oxygen calculator has been developed so facilities can assess their daily oxygen requirements. A predictive model has also been adopted to show the current average oxygen consumption is 12 tons a day, and at the peak of Covid-19 approximately 40 tons of oxygen will be required daily. For that, suppliers have to be engaged with, and in this way supplies are assured.

Private sector cooperation

A call for service has been issued to all licensed private hospital groups to purchase bed capacity in terms of palliative care, general, high care and ICU care. The National Department of Health has negotiated the tariffs, and hospital groups have confirmed their commitment, with each nominating their chosen admin intermediary. The parties are busy concluding and signing service level agreements] and addressing operation requirements. The first few patients have been referred and admitted to test the systems.

Our heroes on the front lines

“I want to thank every single person in our health system working tirelessly on the front lines again,” Premier Allan Winde said in a statement. “You are heroes and we salute you.”

He said staffing remains a very real challenge in the health response, because all new facilities need people to make them effective. “This is happening at a time when more people are falling ill, as we have seen globally. We have introduced a number of mitigation steps to address this, including the use of volunteers, bursar nurses and the Cuban doctor contingent.

“I am also very pleased that our Department of Health has implemented a training course to upskill nurses in intensive care management. These are skills that can be used beyond the crisis, and will be of personal benefit to both the nurses and our communities.

“I want to again call on all our residents to join me in celebrating our health-care workers and other front-line staff. This is a very stressful and anxious time for them as they work tirelessly to save lives. Show your appreciation in whatever way you can – and let them know that the Western Cape is behind them.”

Stay safe. Save lives Winde again called on all residents to play their part in saving lives by: . Regularly washing their hands, keeping surfaces clean and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or their arm. Staying home as much as possible, especially if they fall in the risk category. Wearing a clean, cloth mask whenever they leave home. Ensuring they keep a distance of 1,5 m between themselves and any other person. Staying home if they are experiencing symptoms or feel unwell. Seek medical attention if they are experiencing shortness of breath.

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