The Steve Biko academic hospital in Tshwane is feeling the pressure of the second wave of Covid-19. The hospital has seen a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 patients since December last year.
Last week pictures and videos of patients being treated in tents at a hospital were shared on social media platforms.
The Gauteng health department has confirmed on Sunday that some of those images were taken at the Steve Biko hospital. The Spokesperson for the Gauteng Health Department Kwara Kekana told Gauteng News patients who are coming to the hospital are gravely ill and require critical care.
“The increased number of patients are sicker and require critical care, with some arriving in groups and putting pressure on the facility,” said Kekana in a statement.
She said most of the patients are coming from private hospitals due to lack of space at those facilities.
“Some of the patients the hospital is receiving are coming from private facilities because of lack of space, while others are self-referred from other provinces such as North West, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo,” said Kekana.
Early last year the Gauteng Department of Health converted the Tshwane district hospital into a strictly Covid-19 treating facility in partnership with the Steve Biko academic hospitaltransforming the two hospitals into complex. Kekana said those efforts were done in order to increase Covid-19 designated beds within the complex.
Kekana said the complex is currently under pressure.
“The complex is currently under pressure with regards to the patients that require specialist immediate attention and therefore can be treated in only certain hospitals, that are also overwhelmed,” said Kekana.
She said the Steve Biko academic hospital is now putting up additional tents to accommodate this increase in number of patients coming to the facility.
The department has urged communities not to be complacent. “The non-pharmaceutical interventions of wearing of mask, good hand hygiene, sanitising, avoiding closed and crowded places remain central in preventing the further spread of Covid-19,” said Kekana.