Gauteng Premier David Makhura together with Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Makgethi are on Monday expected to visit the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

The hospital is overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

The Gauteng Department of Health says there has been a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, with some arriving in groups, putting more pressure on the facility.

The department says these patients are much more ill and in need of critical care.

Some patients are coming from private facilities because of a lack of space, while others are from other provinces.

Gauteng Health Spokesperson Kwara Kekana says, “These efforts were done in order to increase COVID-19 designated beds within the complex. The complex is currently under pressure especially with regards to the patients that require specialist immediate attention and therefore can be treated in only certain hospitals, that are also overwhelmed. The Steve Biko Academic Hospital emergency Unit entrance has an area that has a roof, designed to handle disasters of especially patients in the emergency category Priority 3, of which patients whose images are in the social media fall into that category.”

Hospital roof

The Gauteng Health Department confirmed that photos doing rounds on social media are of Steve Biko Academic.

The photos show a packed hospital, with some patients on the hospital roof.

Gauteng Health says it has had a lot of COVID-19 admissions since December.

“The facility noted a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 patients since December 2020. The increased number of patients are sicker and require critical care, with some arriving in groups and putting serious pressure on the facility.”