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Mkhize: There’s an easing of COVID-19 numbers at Steve Biko Hospital

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Earlier this month, the Steve Biko Academic Hospital was thrust into the spotlight after pictures emerged showing patients on stretchers in a parking lot with water running under them.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize visited Steve Biko Hospital on 19 January 2021, as part of an oversight tour of Gauteng’s healthcare facilities. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/EWN

PRETORIA – Health Minister Zweli Mhize said there had been a slight easing of COVID-19 numbers at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria.

Mkhize visited the hospital on Tuesday and is also visiting the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital.

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Earlier this month, the Steve Biko Academic Hospital was thrust into the spotlight after pictures emerged showing patients on stretchers in a parking lot with water running under them.

The observation area where patients are brought was emptier than previously seen, with hospital staff paying attention to those in tents on the grounds.

Minister Mkhize said this was how it should be.

“The issue that we want to expedite is the use of antigen rapid test to ensure that we can shorten the waiting times for patients who are here. It’s very important to work quickly so people can be moved away from the observation ward.”

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But he said government was not overwhelmed.

“An arrangement is now in place that when hospitals are filling up, patients can be moved to Nasrec because there’s still enough space there.”

Mkhize said the ultimate answer to ease the burden on hospitals such as this one was for the vaccine to be made available in South Africa.

WATCH: Mkhize assesses Gauteng hospitals’ handling of COVID surge

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