While COVID-19 infections and deaths are rising among those older than 60 years, residential care facilities battle to keep residents safe. Elri Voigt investigates how care facilities are responding, whether they are getting the support they need from government and if the data on the situation in care homes provides a reliable picture.
As COVID-19 infections and deaths increase in South Africa, the need for palliative care has become more apparent. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to palliative care specialists and a family about the challenges they face in accessing and providing palliative care services during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 epidemic in the Western Cape is at least a few weeks ahead of that in South Africa’s other provinces. Some leading doctors in the province have shared some key lessons learned in recent months.
By last week 1 010 public sector healthcare workers in the Western Cape had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of these six had passed away of COVID-19. Anncha Kepkey, a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, is among those who died. Biénne Huisman spoke to her husband about who Anncha was and what happened in the last days of her life.
The substantial relaxation of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown measures from today was probably both inevitable and the right decision. But with ICU capacity in the Western Cape already stretched, and infections in the province rising rapidly, one or two measures may need to be reconsidered, argues Marcus Low.
Health and safety officers play a critical role in keeping hospitals safe. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to Jan Engelbrecht, a health and safety officer at Groote Schuur Hospital where 69 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
The national lockdown has bought South Africa some time to get health facilities ready for COVID-19. Tiyese Jeranji looks at measures underway to prepare George Hospital for the expected surge in cases.
Shortly after Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced South Africa’s latest tally of 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases – Spotlight got a glimpse of the isolation unit at Tygerberg Hospital where three patients are currently in isolation and awaiting test results to see if they are infected.
The Western Cape Department of Health will get a new Head of Department, Dr Keith Cloete by April, but it seems there will be no radical changes to the strategic direction and work of this department.