Limpopo Health MEC Doctor Phophi Ramathuba says she’s concerned about the increase of COVID-19 cases in the province recorded since the start of the second wave of infections.

The province has recorded the highest increase, with over one 1 500 new cases in the latest 24-hour cycle. Private hospitals in the province have started finding means to increase their bed capacity, as they are unable to admit more patients.

The Pholoso Netcare hospital in Polokwane has set up a field facility in its yard, while the Tzaneen Medi-Clinic hospital is in the process of acquiring a similar facility.

Ramathuba has advised residents to do their best to stay at home where possible and to practice personal hygiene protocols.

“Today, we are talking about 1 577, a jump from 930 and this is exactly what we anticipated even though we never thought that the spike would increase at this particular rate – but having seen the activities that were happening –  if you look from the 18th of December up until the last week of December, it was inevitable.”

Meanwhile, private hospitals in Limpopo have started improvising to increase their bed capacity as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has led to daily increases in new infections in the province.

The Tzaneen Medi-Clinic Hospital has been re-purposing some of its wards to accommodate COVID-19 patients.

The hospital is also in the process of acquiring an overflow facility to accommodate patients. Two districts in Limpopo have been declared as COVID-19 hotspots.

Tzaneen Medi-Clinic Board Chairperson, Doctor Ig Van Rensburg says, “When we ran into the crisis over the long week of New Year, we did enquiries again with Netcare Pholoso in Polokwane, with Medi-Clinic Limpopo and unfortunately the news was they are in the same situation as we are, they also have patients who are waiting for beds. We were in contact with the bigger provincial hospitals in our region and they were also at capacity at the stage – for that reason we have decided to re-purpose as part of the maternity ward that was separate from the patients – to make more space for the COVID patients.”

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