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'I don't think SA will have enough beds, staff and oxygen for COVID-19 peak'

6 July 2020 1:32 PM

Wits University emeritus professor of critical care Guy Richards says SA is running into a crisis as the virus peak approaches.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced on Sunday that the cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 196,750. There were 8,773 new infections.

There were 173 new coronavirus-related deaths: 71 from Gauteng; 40 from the Western Cape; 29 from the Eastern Cape; 21 from KwaZulu-Natal; 10 from the Free State and 2 from the Northern Cape. The total number of deaths is 3,199.

RELATED: 173 new COVID-19 deaths, SA recoveries reach 93,315

With the surge of infections expected, are medical facilities well equipped to deal with the spread?

Mandy Wiener on The Midday Report chats to Wits University emeritus professor of critical care Guy Richards says the country is running into a crisis in terms of bed availability both in hospitals and quarantine facilities.

The deficiencies are in staffing, which is exacerbated by the number of staff contracting the virus. People have not thought through the amount of oxygen that will be required at each of the venues including standard hospitals and quarantine facilities.

Guy Richards, Emeritus professor of critical care - Wits University

I don't think South Africa will have enough beds for the COVID-19 peak and we are going to be overwhelmed. Currently, private hospitals and public hospitals are already running at maximum. When we say beds, it's not just a bed; it is beds, staff and it is oxygen. You can only say you have a bed if all three of those things are available.

Guy Richards, Emeritus professor of critical care - Wits University

Listen below to the full conversation:


6 July 2020 1:32 PM

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