Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital CEO worried about bed capacity as 4th wave looms

Gauteng’s Ministry of Health said it has nearly 5,000 beds available for COVID-19 admissions and is using a risk-adjusted, demand-driven strategy.

FILE: A doctor walks the Respiratory & Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU) at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto on July 14, 2020. Image: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – While beds are likely to become a necessity due to the Omicron variant, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital CEO said she was concerned about capacity.

Professor Salim Abdul Karim said he expected 10,000 daily cases by the end of the week.

He said the high portability of the Omicron variant would mean more cases would be reported quickly and that would put hospitals under pressure.

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Gauteng’s Ministry of Health said it has nearly 5,000 beds available for COVID-19 admissions and is using a risk-adjusted, demand-driven strategy.

But the CEO of Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Dr. Nkele Lesia said it was likely to be difficult for Bara as the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital was down.

“In the past, we also used the operating theater beds, especially in the first wave. When alcohol was banned, we had capacity in the operating rooms, but now that capacity is limited because we are dealing with patients who could have gone to Charlotte but we come to us, “said Dr Lesia.

She said other factors also played a role.

“Trauma cases are always on the rise this time of year, and when alcohol was banned we even had capacity in the surgical wards, but this time we’re really concerned,” said Lesia.

Dr. Lesia said the only way to ease pressure on hospitals is to get vaccinated.

WATCH: Prof. Karim on the Omicron variant: Closing borders is almost of no use



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