The Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria has cancelled or deferred 170 operations since the beginning of the lockdown in March.

According to the Gauteng Health Department, as of the end of June – 40 general surgery cases, 8 orthopaedics, 6 paediatrics and 8 gynaecology theatre processes were deferred.

Provincial Health Spokesperson, Kwara Kekana, says theatres at the hospital have been under pressure, which led to the situation.

“The Steve Biko Academic hospital is continuing with semi-elective theatre cases and as of 15 June 2020, out of the 21 theatres, 10 were operational. Six were for urgent elective cases and four for emergency. This is because of the pressure related to an increase in trauma emergencies and other alcohol related emergencies accompanied by a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases since the level three lockdown,” says Kekana.

South Africa’s cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is 559 858, with related deaths currently at 10 408.

The number of recoveries currently stands at 411 147 which translates to a recovery rate of 73%.

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