Julsing-Keyter, senior manager of SA Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), announced that a licence to supply the rapid test kit, called Orient Gene Covid-19, had been given to Tip Top Trade (Pty) Ltd and that more applications for licenses to supply the kit had been made. – Spotlight (10 July 2020).
On July 8, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize warned Parliament that Gauteng and the Eastern Cape are set to run out of hospital beds for C-19 patients within the next month. Government’s latest modelling, based on the National Covid Epi Model, projects fewer hospital beds would be needed than originally anticipated, but capacity was still expected to be breached in all provinces when the epidemic peaks in mid-August, reported Business Day (9 July 2020).
On July 9, it was reported that Gauteng government’s centralisation of the province’s emergency medical services (EMS) has grounded all 70 of Tshwane’s ambulances. Nearly 600 ambulances operate in the province, but 70 are now out of action. This is the result of a years-long process to shift all EMS away from districts and metros to the province. In all other provinces, EMS are a provincial function.
The decision also affects Tshwane EMS’s 300-strong operational staff, including paramedics. Meanwhile, all emergency calls will be diverted to the provincial call centre.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus has motivated government to award R18-m to seven local companies, organisations and researchers developing test kits and reagents for SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes C-19.
The Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) has declined a proposal by private health sector practitioners and associations including the South African Private Practitioner’s Forum (SAPPF), the SA Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Association, and the SA Medical Association.
If granted, the proposal would have allowed medical aid schemes to tap into funds to help them stay afloat. COVID-19 has put many businesses at risk for closure, and private sector practitioners have not been an exception, with many specialists having shut their doors since the beginning of the lockdown in March, reported Fin24 (8 July 2020).
News24 reported on 7 July, that a 100 000 new coronavirus cases were recorded in 14 days across the country, compared to the 110 days it took since the first confirmed case on 5 March to reach the first 100 000 cases. This surge in cases can be attributed to a significant spike in the number of cases being found in Gauteng, the most densely populated province in the country.
According to a study by the United Nations Programme on HIV/ADS (UNAIDS) 42 500 more lives than usual would be lost to HIV/AIDS in the next year. This is the figure projected if half the people in SA on treatment were unable to get their medication for six months; a figure that rises to 112 000 excess deaths should antiretroviral supplies collapse completely.
In a media statement, the Ear nose and Throat Society (ENT) informed its members of the passing on of one of its respected colleagues, Dr Nthabi Rankhethoa on July 3.
As the infection rate continues to climb and gets closer to the 200 000 mark, private hospital groups Netcare, Life Healthcare and Mediclinic have had to shift their focus to dealing with the pandemic while their regular patients choose to stay away, reported Fin24 (6 July 2020).
According to a study, published by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the inadequatereporting of the side-effects of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) were one of main reasons for patients defaulting on medication.
“It is only a matter of time before the rest of South Africa reaches the surge in COVID-19 coronavirus cases currently being experienced in the Western Cape, experts warn,” reported City Press (7 June 2020).