The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Monday said it was concerned about Gauteng’s Health Ministry’s lack of effective leadership as Covid cases soared in the province, a likely fifth wave of infections ahead of the winter season.
Covid-19 fifth wave
The DA MPL and Gauteng health spokesman Jack Bloom said acting department head Dr Sibongile Zungu resigned in March for unknown reasons and her position was left unfilled.
Bloom also expressed concern that the department has not had a full-time head since Professor Mhululi Luhele stepped down in October 2020 after he was involved in personal protective equipment (PPE) misappropriation.
“Other senior positions, including chief financial officer, are still filled with current staff,” Bloom said in an interview. statement.
Gauteng has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases over the past few days.
From 3222 Of the new coronavirus cases reported by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) on Sunday, the province had the most new cases at 1,727 (54%) and 10,933 active Covid cases.
Bloom said Gauteng’s spike in Covid cases was worrisome, especially given the number of positions in the health department that were left unfilled.
“At this stage, we do not know the severity of the Omicron sub-option that appears to be causing a new wave of cases, but hospitals can expect an influx of Covid patients in the next few weeks.
“Both private and public hospitals in Gauteng already have 1,272 Covid patients, down from 1,000 patients less than three weeks ago.”
He said a lack of staff has been a major problem in treating Covid patients in public hospitals.
Bloom accused Gauteng Prime Minister David Mahura of “failing” by not appointing competent and honest top managers to deal with the crisis in hospitals.
“The scandal is that many of the newly built wards for Covid patients are empty because they have neither staff nor equipment.
“Meanwhile, the existing medical staff is mentally and physically exhausted due to the workload associated with treating previous Covid patients and lagging behind in treating other patients,” he said.
Fifth wave warning
Meanwhile, epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist Professor Salim Abdul Karim warned earlier this month that a fifth wave of Covid-19 infections was likely to hit South Africa in early May.
Abdul Karim said that this largely depends on the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus in the country.
“If past trends continue, we can expect to see a fifth wave sometime in early May. But it always depends on whether there is a new option,” he said.
“We need to make sure we keep testing as long as possible so that when a new option comes up, we test it and we know it exists and we can track it.”
Collected Tapelo Lekabe