Thu, 28 May 2020

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says 87 000 beds are available in public health institutions to accommodate Covid-19 patients.

Mkhize, who was addressing the media on Wednesday, said the health department was anticipating the number of available beds to increase as time went on.

He added there were adequate ventilators to assist patients.

READ | Increase of 27 coronavirus cases may be 'calm before a devastating storm' - Mkhize

"We have heard that some companies have offered to manufacture more ventilators and we welcomed that. We need to have them in case we need more.

"It is forward planning and work is being done. It was anticipated that by 2 April, we could be around 4 000 and 6 000 [number of people who tested positive]. If there was no lockdown, the figure could have gone up to 7 000. It is very early days and there is a lockdown."

Mkhize said the mortality rate would pick up.

"The numbers we are seeing, we must not expect them to come down immediately. We will look at the scientific models, at the moment we are using basic observations as we see the situation. Everybody needs to move at a faster pace, there is not enough time.

"We are planning for the worst while hoping for the best. It is important to remain focused and courageous."

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Mkhize said the nation was in need of stern leadership during a time like this, not anxious and disorganised leaders.

"We are not different and we need to do basics that other countries did to succeed. We need to take the issue seriously. We must not panic or be complacent. The impact is not reversible. There are things we can do to change the course. We must remain vigilant. We can still fight the infection and win it."

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