CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – South Africa’s Cape Town is struggling to cope with more than 38,000 active cases of COVID-19, making it the epicenter of the pandemic in Africa’s worst-hit country.
The provincial chairman of the Democratic Nursing Organization of South AfrIca, Elenor Roberts, said medical staff members were under immense pressure.
“As of now, the situation in our rural areas, it is dire,” because there are so many COVID patients who need attention and “so few staff to look after these patients,” Roberts said.
She said there were about 13,000 nurses in Western Cape province, far too few to handle the workload.
“Our members complained that they cannot take it,” Roberts said. “It is too much for them. There is not enough staff and there’s also not enough beds.” The result, she said, is that “they have to struggle to put the COVID patients away from the other patients.”
She said she thought the vaccination drive underway in the country was helping to some extent.
“I think the vaccinations in this case did help,” she said, but progress remained slow in Western Cape. As of last Thursday, she said, it was her understanding that less than 70 percent of nurses had been vaccinated, so “we are still are at a great risk.”
The province’s premier, Alan Winde, is due to give an update on the situation at a digital news briefing Thursday.
Source: Voice of America