The South African Medical Association (SAMA) says the Eastern Cape does not have enough trained medical personnel as the number of new coronavirus infections increases in the province.
The association’s SAMA Chairperson, Angelique Coetzee, made the remark while outlining issues faced by health sector personnel in that province amid the coronavirus pandemic.
She was reacting to government’s decision to declare the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro a COVID-19 hotspot – therefore banning public drinking, extending the curfew and placing restrictions on gatherings in the region.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement on Thursday night.
“The President was correct in putting in restrictions and declaring NMB as a hotspot. The Eastern Cape does not have enough doctors or trained nursing staff to work in the ICUs to handle patients who need different care than normal patients in a ward. I fail to see how we are going to get it right because there is no political will. You need to have a strong CEO at a hospital saying to the provincial Department of Health I need this, you have to get me the following resources,” says Coetzee.
COVID-19 restrictions for Nelson Mandela Bay Metro:
Ramaphosa also announced the suspension of summer initiation schools in the metro – but the rest of the province can proceed with the schools.
The decision comes amid tensions over the matter in the Eastern Cape, with Contralesa saying government’s delay in opening the summer initiation season has led to the mushrooming of illegal initiation schools in the province.
Nelson Mandela Bay Acting Mayor, Tshonono Buyeye, says they will thoroughly deal with any illegal initiation schools that may open during the festive season. Buyeye says they will make sure that no illegal initiation school is open in the city.
“Law enforcement will be on the look out for that. And anyone who breaks the law – the law will take its course. Of course we understand that the boys from the metro who are due to go the initiation schools, some of them will be running around going to other parts of the province and that will put other regions in jeopardy or at risk, but that is something we will look at and discuss within the province to make sure how we mitigate that,” adds Buyeye.
Mixed views from business owners on adjusted restrictions for Nelson Mandela Bay:
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