Wits University students and engineers are producing face shields and devices to assist patients with breathing in hospitals as the country battles the outbreak of COVID-19.

This comes as South Africa confirmed COVID-19 cases stand at 1655, an increase of 70 from the previously reported cases.

The Health Department also confirmed yet another two deaths related to COVID-19. This takes the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in South Africa to 11.

The university says they produced the first few hundred face shields which were delivered to hospitals in Johannesburg last week.

Wits spokesperson, Shirona Patel says the university wants to take the project up to scale, however more funding will be required.

“This will assist in helping us to make the face shields that will keep the health care practitioners protected and to assist in breathing and assist devices helping patients to survive. The university is grateful for any contribution that anyone makes however large or small. This initiative aims to save lives of many people.”

CUT develops 3D masks for patients

The Central University of Technology (CUT) in Bloemfontein has also joined the battle against COVID-19. It is providing respiratory support strategies for coronavirus patients.

The institution is developing 3D print masks for patients. The masks will provide non-invasive ventilation and continuous airway pressure.

In the video, CUT develops COVID-19 3D print masks for patients

Port Elizabeth healthcare workers fearful due to lack of protective equipment  

Meanwhile, healthcare workers at Port Elizabeth hospitals, in the Eastern Cape, fear for their lives as they fight the spread of the coronavirus.

Staff at some of the hospitals don’t have the basic equipment to protect themselves.

The already emotionally and physically drained workers say they were dealt another blow when they learned that one of the doctors, whom they were in contact with, had tested positive for the virus. The doctor is currently in isolation.

A medical doctor, who wishes to remain anonymous, says the situation is worrying.