Mediclinic Newcastle announces visitation changes as KZN Premier warns of resurgence

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As South Africa faces tighter lockdown restrictions, the race against the third wave within the province and the Amajuba District Municipality is now officially on.

On Tuesday, 29 June 2021, The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) stated that an additional 13,347 new cases had been reported in South Africa. “This increase represents a 26.2% positivity rate.” Providing a regional breakdown, the NICD further noted that Gauteng accounted for most new cases (67%), followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (7% each).

Moreover, on Wednesday, 30 June 2021, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala hosted a media briefing on the province’s readiness to deal with the current situation. During the briefing, he noted, “As the province, we have data that indicates that the Delta Virus has been detected in six of our districts. These districts are Harry Gwala, Ethekwini, Zululand, King Cetshwayo, Ugu, Ilembe.” Reflecting on this information, he emphasised that the provincial government has developed a battle plan against this deadly variant. “It all starts with acting and acting fast and obeying all the COVID-19 protocols and alert level 4 regulations.”

Adding to this, he says scientific reports have been welcomed. These reports tell us that the vaccines currently being rolled out in the country – namely Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson – are more effective against the Delta virus when compared to previous variants. “We are also told that the vaccines have an 89 percent efficacy when it comes to protection against severe symptoms of COVID-19.”

In the past 24-hour reporting cycle, the Premier highlighted that KZN registered 483 new COVID–19 cases, bringing the total number of reported cases to 352 401. The average number of cases recorded in the past seven days was 753 cases per day. The province has also observed a 37% increase in cases during the past two weeks, which amounts to 2 145 cases. The actual number of new cases recorded was 3 159 for week 25; and 5 034 for week 26, which began yesterday, 29 June 2021.

Concerning resurgence monitoring, Zikalala explained, “We are observing that five districts are on resurgence, Ethekwini, Uthukela, Umgungundlovu, Amajuba and Umzinyathi. It is now a race against the third wave for us in these districts.”

With the above in mind, Mediclinic Newcastle states that because of an increasing number of COVID-19 patients presenting for care within the local community, the private hospital has confirmed amendments to its visitation arrangement.

Discussing the decision, Dr Gerrit de Villiers, Chief Clinical Officer, Mediclinic Southern Africa, states, “We believe that the safety of patients and staff is of the utmost importance and that the revised visitor measures will limit the risk of infection for our patients. This decision will be reviewed and adjusted, as necessary.” Further stating, one visitor per patient will continue to have access to non-COVID-19 patients between 3 pm and 4 pm daily with visitation for patients who are COVID-19 positive or suspected COVID-19 patients being restricted. However, de Villiers notes that exceptions will be made where possible and safe for critically ill patients. Noting, arrangements for NICU, Obstetrics and Paediatric units will remain in place.

Moreover, Mediclinic will continue to support engagement with family and friends through electronic communication channels to encourage the vital support that these relationships provide in the healing process.

Due to the growing seriousness of the situation, “Mediclinic Newcastle would like to implore our community to strictly adhere to all recommended measures to reduce their risk of infection. This includes masking in public, social distancing, and avoiding any congested public areas. We would ask that individuals stay at home if they are unwell to reduce the risk for vulnerable members of our community,” de Villiers concludes.

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