There is no space for patients - Durban paramedics struggling during second wave

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A medical worker wearing a face mask,
A medical worker wearing a face mask,
Piero Cruciatti/AFP via Getty Images
  • Private paramedic services are struggling to cope with the second wave of Covid-19 infections.
  • Advanced life-support paramedic Garrith Jamieson says the Durban Central and surrounding areas have had a high number of infections.
  • He says the biggest issue facing paramedics was space at public and private facilities.

A private paramedic service in Durban says it is finding the second wave "excessively  difficult" as Covid-19 spreads rapidly through the city.

"Paramedics in and around the Durban Central and surrounding areas are finding it excessively difficult with the second wave of Covid-19 that has hit in Durban Central.

"Multiple patients have fallen ill and with multiple ambulances being used to transport these sickly people. The biggest issue paramedics are finding is minimal space at facilities to accommodate patients," advanced life support paramedic Garrith Jamieson said on Monday.

Jamieson said patients have now had to be taken to their personal doctors.

"At times, paramedics are going out assessing a patient, liaising with their doctor to assist because the facilities are in complete divert, both government and private facilities."

ALSO READ | Ramaphosa to address the nation on Monday as Covid-19 cases continue to increase

He called on citizens and Durbanites to maintain mitigating measures.

Always wear a mask

"I recommend [that] all people stay safe and healthy and wear a mask at all times."

His woes come as President Cyril Ramaphosa gears up to address the nation on Monday at 20:00.

It will be Ramaphosa's first "family meeting" since Health Minister Zweli Mkhize announced that South Africa was in the midst of a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

As South Africans charge into the festive period, Mkhize and health experts have warned that Covid-19 fatigue could hit the nation hard.

There have also been concerns that Durban beaches could be flooded with holiday makers, who come from all over the country to enjoy the beaches, a year-end tradition for decades.

On Sunday, KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu said there were a high number of infections in public health facilities.

She cautioned the public and medical workers to take precautions as a second wave spreads through the province.


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