Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane.
- Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has dismissed reports that there is shortage of beds and oxygen in the province‘s hospitals.
- Mabuyane said there are 4 329 general Covid-19 beds with admission seating at 1 788.
- He added the province has made available 637 critical beds for Covid-19 patients and that only 160 are occupied.
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has dismissed reports that there is shortage of beds and oxygen in the province’s hospitals.
Mabuyane was speaking at the Bhisho Massacre Memorial Stadium on Tuesday to give his first Covid-19 update of the new year.
The premier said he was concerned by what he called the circulation of misinformation on social media.
Mabuyane added the oxygen status in hospitals was in the top level of stability while the medicine status was on the same level.
“That is the same for PPE. There is PPE in our hospitals and people are given PPE according to areas where they work. We want to make sure no worker must go to work without PPE.
“We are at an increased level of stability on the availability of beds meaning there is no shortage of beds in Eastern Cape hospitals.”
He revealed there were 4 329 general Covid-19 beds with admission seating at 1 788.
Mabuyane said this meant that there were more than 2 500 beds available, adding the province had made 637 critical beds available to Covid-19 patients and only 160 were occupied.
“This means 477 are available.
“I must add that only 49% of our oxygenated beds are occupied. So, there is no truth to the shortage of oxygenated beds either.
“We want to reiterate that all the regional and tertiary hospitals, including the old renovated Cecilia Makhiwane Hospital and Vokwagen South Africa Field Hospital, have wall mounted oxygen points and bulk oxygen tanks which are kept operational for 24 hours,” he added.
More than 7 000 people have died due to the coronavirus in the Eastern Cape, while more than 151 000 have recovered.
Mabuyane said the provincial government was making progress in the fight against Covid-19 and had attributed the progress to the people of the Eastern Cape.
“As we begin the new year, we are pleased to share with the people of our province that there is once again good progress in the fight against Covid-19. This is largely due to co-operation by our people who have once again adhered to Covid-19 regulations.
“If we continue to do that, we will be out of restrictions soon and more economic activities will be allowed. We only have to wear our masks regularly, wash hands and sanitise, maintain physical distance and stay at home as often as possible to stop the spread of the virus.”
He also commended law enforcement for enforcing regulations during the busy festive season.
Mabuyane said 197 non-complying liquor outlets in the Eastern Cape were issued with fines to the value of more than R188 000 on 31 December 2020, adding 1 532 people were arrested for not complying with regulations on the same day.
He said the province’s call for the closure of beaches, advocacy for mandatory wearing of masks and ban on large gatherings have yielded positive results.
“These were boosted by the imposition of new curfew and ban on the sale of alcohol. We really thank the National Coronavirus Command Council for that leadership.”
The decision to impose tough restrictions was not taken lightly but taken in the best interest of saving lives and that superceded everything else, Mabuyane added.
“We have reduced active cases in our province from 8 000 in December to just above 5 000,” he said, adding he was happy with the recovery rate of 97%.
“Signs are that the province was moving towards the end of the second wave.”