Personnel from the military health services have arrived at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto, Gauteng, to assist with the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The province is currently the epicentre of the pandemic accounting for two-thirds of the new cases in the country.

Earlier, virologist Professor Shabir Madhi told the SABC News that patients who are on oxygen are sitting on chairs at Helen Joseph Hospital in Johannesburg because of a shortage of beds.

He said despite Bara having a state-of the-art COVID-19 unit, beds can’t be utilised because of staff shortages.

On Friday, acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said her department had requested that medical personnel from the SANDF be sent to public hospitals in Gauteng.

The video below is reporting on the new COVID-19 positive cases:

Meanwhile, the Gauteng government Spokesperson, Thabo Masebe, says discussions are under way to also utilise clinical staff from the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital that is still closed after a fire, two months ago.

“They can’t work somewhere else because somewhere else there are people who are also working. A few of them yes would have been sent to other places but many of them are actually not fully engaged. If we take those, they will in a very short time turn those hospital beds into fully functional ICU beds ,” explains Masebe.

The audio clip below is the full interview with Thabo Masebe: