People die in their cars amid hospital carnage (Part 2)

Date: 03 Jul 2021
B/Fwd fm P1  Vaccinologist and dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Shabir Madhi, said there was early evidence the third wave had peaked in Gauteng, and that figures from next week might confirm this.

“Unfortunately, due to severe disease and death lagging behind by two weeks compared with the infection rates in the community, we will likely continue seeing an increase in hospitalisation and death from Covid over the next two weeks, before that too starts decreasing.”

The number of hospitalisation cases and deaths in Gauteng would likely be increasing, he said when the latest lockdown is scheduled to end on July 11. This, Madhi said, made it likely the lockdown would be extended, although it depended on the criteria the government used to make that decision.

And while the government pushes to increase the number of vaccinations across the country, yesterday it was revealed the vaccine drive in Gauteng had hit a snag.

One out of 10 teachers in the province, according to the Department of Education, have refused to be vaccinated.

In a statement, the Gauteng Department of Education said they were “gravely alarmed” that 9 113 teachers and support staff had turned down the Covid-19 vaccines.

“It needs to be noted that the reluctance to vaccinate is a threat to the government’s efforts to normalise schooling during this disruptive pandemic and effectively threatens the academic year in its entirety.”

Yet again, just how successful Gauteng will be in fighting off this latest wave will come down to how well its citizens stay away from mass gatherings and remember to wear their masks. or desperate due to a lack of money.

“Even giving birth at the hospital has taken on an entirely new dimension. Many women have to give birth on their own. No family members are allowed – even if everyone has tested negative. So no more visits for grandparents to see the new arrival.

The matron said staff deaths due to Covid-19 was part of “our everyday life”. She said colleagues who contract the virus go into self-isolation and never return.

“The mental toll Covid-19 is taking on the health workers – from doctors to nurses to everyone involved. It’s beyond description. It doesn’t discriminate and we each have our own way of dealing with it.

"Covid is keeping us all humble at this stage. We are just grateful to return to hospital each day without symptoms. And we are happy to leave after a shift, realising how blessed we are to once again reunite with our families.”

SHAUN SMILLIE, SAMEER NAIK, NORMAN CLOETE, KARISHMA DIPA AND ZELDA VENTER ZELDA VENTER zelda.venter@inl.co.za

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