Fears of shortage of beds at Baragwanath Hospital as fourth wave looms
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, the third largest hospital in the world may not have enough bed capacity for the looming fourth wave.
CEO of the facility, Dr Nkele Lesia, has raised concerns that there may not be sufficient capacity to deal with the fourth wave even though the Gauteng Health Department claims to have 5,000 beds available for Covid-19 admissions.
Along with the bed capacity, the Department said they are applying a risk-adjusted demand-informed strategy.
“We used the surgical beds, especially during the first wave. When alcohol was banned, we had capacity in the surgical wards. Our capacity is further limited because we are dealing with patients who would have gone to Charlotte Maxeke but are now coming to us,” Dr Lesia said.
Lesia said other factors and incidents will likely contribute to the hospital being unable to cope during the December period as trauma cases increase dramatically regardless of whether or not alcohol sales are banned.
Baragwanath Hospital, with 3,200 beds and more than 6,500 staff members, has struggled to deal with Covid-19 in the past particularly during the second wave during December 2020.
Professor Salim Adbool Karim, South African Public Health Medicine Specialist said he expected to see around 10,000 new daily cases of Covid-19 by the end of the week.
He said the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant would result in positive cases increasing as well as hospital admissions, putting pressure on hospitals across the country.
South Africa recorded 2,273 new cases of Covid-19 on 29 November with 25 individuals succumbing to the virus and a total of 2,328 individuals in hospital with coronavirus.
Image source: @BusinessLive
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