Healthcare workers are pleading with President Cyril Ramaphosa to urgently intervene as they experience severe strain due to the resurgence of new infections which are being driven by a new variant.
In the last reporting period 11 552 new coronavirus cases were recorded in the country, putting the cumulative number of infections at 994 911. A further people have succumbed to COVID-19 related complications. This takes the national death toll to 26 521.
On March 23rd, a national 21-day lockdown was announced by President Ramaphosa to begin on 27 March to 16 April. Nine hours into the lockdown on the 27th of March, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize released a statement, announcing the first death resulting from COVID-19. Fast forward 9 months to the day, the COVID-19 death toll stands at more than 26 000 with the fast-spreading newly-identified COVID-19 variant announced by Dr Mkhize a week ago.
New COVID-19 variant identified by scientists in South Africa:
According to the South African Medical Association, coronavirus healthcare workers are under severe strain trying to cope with the resurgence of COVID-19 new infections and deaths in the country.
Many took to social media to voice their concerns and to plead with the government, specifically President Ramaphosa to do something.
In a statement on Wednesday, Dr Mkhize warned South Africans that the government would need to review the current restrictions and consider further measures.
It is now up to President Ramaphosa and the National Coronavirus Command Council whether to heed the call from healthcare workers to save lives by shutting down the country or to succumb to fears of plunging the economy into further crisis.
South Africa is quickly approaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic as the country now records over 5000 cases shy of reaching the 1-million mark in terms of cases registered.
Meanwhile, Free State Health MEC, Montseng Tsiu, says the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed healthcare services in the province.
Tsiu says more than 1900 paramedics and forensic pathologists have been trained since the first case was reported in the country.
“We train the paramedics on how to take care of the COVID-19 patients, and we also train them how to take care of themselves so that they do not get infected while they help the patient. They also make sure that they counsel the family as they take care of the sick person.”
Explainer | What is the new COVID-19 variant:
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