Hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in the Free State may also become insufficient if additional provision is not provided on time.
That is why urgent intervention is needed now, warns Mariëtte Pittaway, DA legislator and spokeswoman for the party on health.
Pittaway said in a news release Dr. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on TV that hospital beds in the country could become insufficient as the Covid 19 pandemic entered its peak.
She says in a presentation by the Portfolio Committee on Health in the Free State Legislature on June 4, the Free State Department of Health gave an optimistic forecast that by August 1, they would need about 3,886 hospital beds and 1,080 beds in emergency units.
The department also said that as part of the level 3 restriction, time is given for the preparation of hospitals and beds in field hospitals.
Pittaway says she sent a question to Montseng Tsiu, the Free State MEC for health, on July 1, asking what the date will be when the field hospitals will be completed and how many beds will be available by August 1.
Pittaway said on Friday that Tsiu still owes her an answer.
She says it came as a surprise when the Free State provincial government issued a news release on July 7 that the provincial coronavirus command council, led by Free State premier Sisi Ntombela, would visit the Bloem showground to visit the place. look through as a possibility for the establishment of a field hospital.
“It is worrying because it is only three weeks before the August 1 deadline and the provincial council is only now looking at the place. At the event, the prime minister said they were a little worried. Also, the Free State will eventually have 7,000 equipped beds for Covid-19. ”
Pittaway says one of the reasons for the strict restrictions was for the provincial health department to prepare for when the country will reach its peak. But the Free State Department of Health is dragging its feet to make adequate preparations.
She says that by 30 June this year, the DA-governed Western Cape has set up an incredible 44 facilities with 4 672 available beds and an additional 182 facilities are ready for activation when they may be needed.
These facilities collectively offer 9,670 beds.
The DA will continue to monitor and monitor the circumstances, because the greatest power any economy can have lies in a healthy population.
* Network24 called Montseng Tsiu, Free State MEC for health, three times, but no answer was received.
She had earlier told Netwerk24 that the field hospital at Bloemkou would be completed by the end of August because procurement processes from the state had yet to go through to award tenders for building partitions, placing beds and oxygen.
She also said that fortunately there are already structures, electricity and water that do not need to be laid yet.
Meanwhile, there are other facilities in the Free State where contractors are already working to provide additional beds, such as in the underground parking level of the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, she says.