Gauteng receives ventilators ahead of expected spike in Covid-19 infections

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  • Gauteng has received its first batch of 1 000 ventilators as the province prepares for a surge of the coronavirus.
  • The Solidarity Fund approved additional funding of R405 million for critical equipment in Gauteng, the Western Cape, and the Eastern Cape.
  • A further R250 million was approved for the local production of up to 20 000 noninvasive C-PAP ventilators.

Gauteng has received its first batch of ventilators from the Solidarity Fund.

On Sunday, 206 018 people had tested positive for the coronavirus in Gauteng making the province the epicentre of the virus.

The fund approved additional funding of R405 million to go towards buying critical healthcare equipment for the public hospital system in the hotspots of Gauteng, the Western Cape, and the Eastern Cape.

Solidarity Fund interim CEO Nomkhita Nqweni said they were responding to an expected surge in hospital admissions caused by Covid-19 predicted to peak in late August.

"A further R250 million was approved for the local production of up to 20 000 non-invasive C-PAP ventilators in support of the National Ventilator Project. As we traverse the predicted peak of the Covid-19 infection in South Africa, it is important that we accelerate our efforts to arm the medical practitioners with the equipment that they need.

"We are gratified that the first installment of ventilators is being distributed ahead of schedule, and are committed to ensuring the speedy dispatch of all ventilators to medical facilities on the frontline of the fight against this pandemic," said Nqweni.

READ| Durban organisation ready to start producing ventilators for Covid-19 patients

Acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo received 36 of the first batch of the close to 1 000 ventilators in the process of delivery on behalf of Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

Mamabolo said they want all facilities across the province to be well resourced with PPE, staff, and other relevant needs required for an adequate response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital has played a significant role in Gauteng’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic since the early days of virus transmission... We value and appreciate all healthworkers in the province, and consider it a priority of ours to support you and ensure that your dedication and hard work does not go unnoticed.

"These machines represent a very useful option in the management of Covid-19 patients who require more than just oxygen supportive therapy for Covid-19 pneumonia," said Mamabolo.

Mamabolo said the ventilators were inexpensive, had other useful patient indicators and were manufactured locally.

"While the context of the pandemic has strained the public health generally, it is encouraging that even under these circumstances there remains a beacon of hope that shines through."

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