Two hospitals in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro have suspended all non-essential operations and admissions until further notice.
The hospital group Netcare announced the decision on Monday as part of its strategy to have the necessary capacity during the expected increase in Covid-19 patients.
The Netcare Greenacres Hospital in Port Elizabeth and the Netcare Cuyler Hospital in the neighboring village of Uitenhage will continue to maintain the policy.
The decision comes after the Eastern Cape Department of Health announced at a briefing on Friday that the province’s Covid 19 cases have doubled over the past ten days, says André Bothma, Area Manager for Netcare’s Eastern Cape Hospital Department, in a statement.
By Sunday, 15,751 cases had been reported in the province and 285 people had already died from Covid-19.
In the Nelson Mandela Bay metro, 4,706 cases were reported, most from the province’s eight districts.
Bothma says due to the suspension of non-essential operations in the two hospitals, beds in the emergency room and high-care unit will be available.
“All surgical cases scheduled for the coming week will be reassessed in collaboration with the specialists involved to determine which surgeries can be safely postponed based on clinical considerations and with the patient’s consent.”
The hospitals will continue to provide medical care to patients with life-threatening injuries or conditions.
“Emergency operations will be determined by the same criteria to ensure the effective management of beds in the high-care and alert unit. We will watch the situation, ”says Bothma.
Non-essential operations and admissions in the two hospitals will resume as soon as it is safe and practical.
Bothma says the two hospitals have implemented comprehensive Covid-19 precautions for patients and staff.
Meanwhile, the Eastern Cape’s Prime Minister Oscar Mabuyane’s office issued a statement on Monday about the province’s response to the virus.
According to the statement, 763 health workers in the province’s private and public sectors were tested positive for the virus, 24 of whom died.
By Sunday, 133,790 laboratory tests had been conducted for the virus in the province. Of these, 107 736 were done by the National Health Laboratory Service, while Ampath and Pathcare performed 14 546 and 11 508 tests respectively.
The province will henceforth prioritize tests for, among others, healthcare workers exposed to Covid-19 patients, high-risk individuals, people who have been in contact with Covid-19 patients, and for clinical diagnoses for patients with respiratory illnesses in healthcare services.