Tembisa residents concerned over rising Covid-19 cases
The township is one of the coronavirus hotspot areas in the City of Ekurhuleni.
As the numbers of Covid-19 cases and related deaths continue to rise in Gauteng, fears are growing as healthcare services are persistently interrupted by closures as a result of staff Covid-19 infections.
Erin clinic is the latest clinic to be temporarily closed due to a staff member testing positive for coronavirus.
More fear for patients
A 70-years-old patient, who did not want to be named, says she now fears going to the clinic for the treatment of hypertension.
“I was at the clinic to collect my medication about two days ago and I now I hear that the clinic has been closed. I’m concerned for my health because the President said that people my age should stay at home but I was told to come to the clinic.”
According to her, a nurse at the clinic said she had to collect her medication, after she had sent someone to collect it for her.
“She said that my blood pressure was too high and I needed to come to the clinic so they could monitor it. I don’t feel safe going there anymore but I have got no choice because if I don’t, they said I might have a stroke”, she adds.
Another resident who finds herself feeling anxious because of the rising numbers is Cynthia Magagula*.
“It’s scary, it feels more real and brings the worry of knowing that anyone around you can be infected or affected,” she says.
Magagula found that her last visit to the doctor was an eye-opener to how Covid-19 has changed lives in Tembisa.
“The last time I was at the doctor’s office it was really cold with all the windows open. There was also a lot of patients and it didn’t feel safe because we were all in the same waiting room, and some of the kids were not wearing masks although their parents were wearing them. You never really know if people have it, or are there because of other illnesses.”
She is also concerned that the virus is going to spread rapidly since the country is under level three of the lockdown and there is increased movement of people.
According to Kwara Kekana, the spokesperson for the MEC for health in the province, the affected area in the clinic was closed for cleaning and the tracing of patients who could have been in close contact with the affected staff member put in place.
“Contacts tracing is initiated immediately once a positive case has been identified. This will include patients who could have been at the clinic. Such patients will be those who are regarded as close contact, as determined by the clinic in line with guidelines for identification of clients who have come into contact with a positive case in the clinic.”
Kekana also adds that services would not be entirely affected and staff members from the district brought in to cover for colleagues who are isolating.
“It should be noted that the area that needed to be sanitised was closed while services were provided in a mobile unit. Capacity will be created by using available human resources to ensure that services continue without interruption as much as possible,” he says.
Ekurhuleni North 1 currently has a total 4 862 cases and 2 204 recoveries, while Ekurhuleni North 2 has got a total of 5 914 Covid-19 cases with recoveries of 2 744. Tembisa falls under both districts within the municipality and the entire Ekurhuleni currently sits at 24 948 cases with 10652 recoveries.
5 576 people are currently hospitalised at various private and public hospitals in the province. – Health-e News
(*) Not real name