SA is on stage five out of eight in dealing with Covid-19‚ says Mkhize

SA is at stage 5 of a programme to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, says health minister Zweli Mkhize. Image: Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

SA is now in stage five of an eight-stage programme to manage the Covid-19 pandemic‚ health minister Zweli Mkhize said on Tuesday.

Stage 5 deals with surveillance to identify and intervene in hotspots‚ spatial monitoring of new cases and investigation of outbreaks.

As at Tuesday evening‚ SA had registered 17‚200 cases of Covid-19 and recorded 312 deaths‚ with 7‚960 recoveries.

The country’s plan to combat the pandemic was outlined in an eight-stage programme that was revealed by the chair of the ministerial advisory group on Covid-19‚ Prof Salim Abdool Karim‚ last month when SA was on stage 4.

According to the plan‚ the first four stages are:

Stage 1: Preparation

Community education
Establishing lab capacity
Surveillance

Stage 2: Primary prevention

Social distancing and handwashing
Closing schools and reduced gathering
Close the borders to international travel

Stage 3: Lockdown

Intensifying curtailment of human interaction

Stage 4: Surveillance and active case-finding

The community response: door-to-door screening‚ testing‚ isolation and contact tracing
On Tuesday‚ Mkhize said SA was in stage 5 and also focusing on stages 6‚ 7 and 8.

Stage 5: identify and intervene in hotspots‚ spatial monitoring of new cases and investigation of outbreaks.

Stage 6: Medical care (for the peak)

Surveillance on caseload and capacity
Managing staff exposures and infections
Building field hospitals for triage
Expand ICU bed and ventilator numbers

Stage 7: Bereavement and the aftermath

Expanding burial capacity
Regulations on funerals
Managing psychological and social impact

Stage 8: Ongoing vigilance

Administer vaccines‚ if available
Ongoing surveillance for new cases.

By: Ernest Mabuza

Source: ARENA Holdings.

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