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Aren’t we setting ourselves up for failure by opening religious gatherings? - DA

28 May 2020 9:34 AM
Tags:
Democratic Alliance
Parliament
Health
DA
Cticc
Zweli Mkhize
Tygerberg
Refilwe Moloto
level 3
Coronavirus
COVID-19
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
ICU
ppes
lockdown level 3
religious gatherings
Siviwe Gwarube
field hospital
super-spreader
testing and tracing

"Reopening religious gatherings; what were the considerations? It seems Govt is still hashing those out," says Siviwe Gwarube.

In a first for Parliament, it held a hybrid meeting of MPs on Wednesday, with some attending in person while others joined online.

Refilwe Moloto spoke to Siviwe Gwarube, the Democratic Alliance (DA) spokesperson on health.

She was part of the session on Wednesday and had an opportunity of asking Health Minister Zweli Mkhize about confusion around varying lockdown levels between metros and other areas.

pixabay.com

Gwarube visited the CTICC Covid-19 field hospital and Tygerberg Hospital as part of Parliament’s Health Portfolio Committee earlier this week and posed questions to Minister Mkhize about our healthcare capacity.

She also asked about the threat of outbreaks linked to gathering at places of religious worship.

Mkhize replied that Covid-19 will be with us for years and that it would be impossible to stop religious activities for such a long time.

The Claremont Main Road mosque yesterday [Wednesday] announced that they will not reopen. They say they’re eagerly awaiting other major sites of worship to do the right thing and follow suit.

Refilwe Moloto, presenter - CapeTalk

Related article: Churches easily become ‘super-spreader’ hotspots – why open them, not salons?


It was very important to hear about the rationale for the resumption of religious gatherings… What were some of the considerations? It seems Government is still hashing those out…

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

There are many things that can go seriously wrong. We’ve seen how devastating cluster outbreaks can be… If we reopen religious gathering, are we not setting ourselves up for failure?

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

In Tygerberg, they have fewer than 200 ICU beds… The CTICC is an 864-bed facility that will look after Covid-confirmed cases – people who have their co-morbidities under control but can’t self-isolate at home, and need medical attention.

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

It was jarring to see so many beds (864) lined up, and to think that in three weeks’ time we’re probably going to see that facility full… It’s good to know that the Western Cape is ready, particularly because the curve in the province is far ahead of anywhere else.

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

Tygerberg developed a site where they recycle PPEs, particularly surgical and N95 masks…

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

We have a testing backlog… we’re running out of test kits…

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

There’s been a disproportionate allocation of resources, and rightly so… We need a lot more testing and tracing teams in densely populated areas… Testing and tracing teams are needed where people need alternative means of accommodation. It does not mean there are fewer cases in affluent areas…

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

We’ve got 5000 ICU beds nationally… There are provinces that are not ready… there’s still a tremendous amount of work… we’re running out of time…

Siviwe Gwarube, spokesperson on health - DA

Listen to the interview in the audio below.


28 May 2020 9:34 AM
Tags:
Democratic Alliance
Parliament
Health
DA
Cticc
Zweli Mkhize
Tygerberg
Refilwe Moloto
level 3
Coronavirus
COVID-19
coronavirus in South Africa
covid-19 in south africa
ICU
ppes
lockdown level 3
religious gatherings
Siviwe Gwarube
field hospital
super-spreader
testing and tracing

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