Covid-19: Hospitals struggle as cases surge, new strain discovered

South Africa is seeing a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections. There were about 11,000 new virus cases and more than 250 deaths linked to the disease on Saturday, according to the Health Department. Government announced that a new strain of the Covid-19 virus has been identified in patients. According to epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim, the disease causes a higher viral load meaning that infected people can spread the new strain far more easily. Meanwhile, South African health care company Mediclinic says its resources are taking strain as the number of critically ill patients rises. – Melani Nathan

South Africa’s Mediclinic sees capacity strain with second Covid-19 wave

By Loni Prinsloo

(Bloomberg) –South Africa’s Mediclinic International  said it’s struggling with capacity constraints as the country experiences a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Patients seeking care within Mediclinic hospitals are exceeding previous numbers during the first peak, Gerrit de Villiers, a group general manager said in a statement. Demand in many intensive care and high care units have reached capacity, the company said.

Mediclinic said coronavirus patients had climbed from less than 100 admissions to more than 500 in a month in its facilities across the Western Cape.

“This dramatic increase in numbers within the Western Cape has placed very heavy strain on available healthcare resources including staff, equipment and available beds to provide intensive treatment for seriously ill patients,” it said. Elective or non-emergency surgery has been cancelled.

Mediclinic said it is increasing beds available to Covid-19 patients and reallocating resources. There were 10,939 new virus cases and 254 more deaths in South Africa on Saturday, according to the Health Department.

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