Healthcare system won’t cope with second Covid-19 wave, warns Denosa

Healthcare system won’t cope with second Covid-19 wave, warns Denosa

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) says it fears the country’s healthcare system won’t be able to cope with a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Medical personnel move a deceased patient to a refrigerated truck serving as make shift morgues at Brooklyn Hospital Center on April 09, 2020 in New York City. America's coronavirus epicenter of New York recorded a new single-day high of 799 COVID-19 deat
File: AFP

South Africans have been warned to brace for a second wave of Covid-19 infections with Health Minister Zweli Mkhize warning that if the trajectory continued health systems would be overwhelmed.

Denosa has now echoed the warning.

The organisation’s president Simon Hlungwani says the country’s healthcare system will not be able to handle a rapid surge of the virus.  

“We do not want the nation to think that they can go around in society in general and be careless, thinking that the healthcare system will help them in case they get coronavirus. 

“It will be reckless if we said the system is able to cope when we are seeing evidence in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, and KZN that the system is currently getting overwhelmed.”

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On Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa made the decision to tighten the curfew, ban booze over weekends and close some beaches during the festive season.

“If we become careless and people becoming more Covid-19 positive, it means our system will be overwhelmed and it is going to lead to people dying while queueing on stretchers waiting to be seen in hospitals,” says Hlungwani.  

“The fact is we do not have enough medical personnel, there is a shortage of doctors and nurses in the country. It will be reckless to say we are ready and our system will have enough beds. Currently we do not have enough beds, even in Gauteng, and it takes to six hours to get one bed released for a person to occupy.”  

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