Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane says there is hope that the province will win the fight against COVID-19 as the number of new reported cases is starting to decrease.
Mabuyane says the province is now recording less than 1000 new cases a day.
He visited a number of hospitals around Nelson Mandela Bay to assess their challenges and opened a new wing for testing at the Port Elizabeth branch of the National Health Laboratory Services.
Mabuyane also officiated at the official opening of a new wing of the National Health Laboratory Services. The laboratory now boasts expanded testing capacity after a R4 million injection, which was part of the R100 million coronavirus grant from the German government through Volkswagen South Africa.
Outgoing Volkswagen Group South Africa Managing Director, Thomas Schaefer, says the new wing will double the testing capacity in the Metro.
Schaefer says, “These improvements will increase the testing capacity to over 3000 tests per day and double the current testing capacity, so we will be able to trace and arrest the COVID-19 pandemic. We also wish to thank the German government for the funding to re-allocate the money to where it is needed the most.”
In the video below, Premier Oscar Mabuyane visits several hospitals in Port Elizabeth:
Eastern Cape Health Superintendent-General Dr Thobile Mbengashe says when the pandemic started in the province, they projected that during the peak of infections, they would surpass 100 000 positive cases and 10 000 beds would be needed. He says the improved turn-around time of releasing results contributed to the decrease of new cases.
Mbengashe says, “96 percent of the turnaround time is a huge part of our success in terms of how we respond, but what is important is how this connects in all the things we need to do. The tests themselves are helping us to make the decisions about whether someone needs isolation, whether someone needs to be treated or whether someone should stay in quarantine.”
Mabuyane says since last month all districts recorded a recovery above 80 percent.
The Eastern Cape currently has just more than 6 500 active cases, he says most of these cases are in the two Metros, Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City.
Mabuyane says, “Reduction was observed in all the districts in the province. Buffalo City had about 49.8 percent in the number of newly reported cases, followed by OR Tambo at 41 percent, Sarah Baartman at 40 percent, Nelson Mandela Bay at 36 percent.”
The province has recorded more than 79 000 infections since the start of the outbreak in South Africa.
The labolatory will assist to fast track the testing process for COVID-19.
“I am certain the greatest reward we can give VWSA is to use this donation effectively to preserve as many lives as possible during this pandemic, ” said @OscarMabuyane
— Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (@NMandelaBaymuni) August 4, 2020
Story by Mcebisi Ngqina