We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

North West unveils hospital beds after Covid-19 deaths jump from seven to 36

The number of Covid-19 related deaths in the North West has jumped to 36. Stock photo.
The number of Covid-19 related deaths in the North West has jumped to 36. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Tyler Olson

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, the North West has unveiled 435 standard beds, 33 high-care beds and 55 intensive-care unit beds to treat expected patients.

The province recorded 7,147 infections, 36 deaths and 1,456 recoveries on Wednesday. 

Health department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said some of the deaths were not reported immediately. 

“For some time the province had one reported death, then moved to five and on July 2 the province was standing at seven deaths. Then it suddenly climbed to 36 confirmed deaths on July 3,” he said. “The sudden increase is because each case has to be thoroughly investigated before it can be reported.

“While the province has known of certain deaths which were suspected to be Covid-19 related, such cases had to go through the process of verification before they could be reported for inclusion in the NICD [National Institute for Communicable Diseases] database and be reported by the minister.”

Lekgethwane said most of the infections were within mining communities. 

Broken down by district, Bojanala has recorded 4,797 infections and 13 deaths, Dr Kenneth Kaunda has 1,788 infections and 18 deaths, and Ngaka Modiri Molema has 428 infections and five deaths. 

Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati remains the only district with no recorded deaths. It has 113 infections. 

Two subdistricts take the bulk of cases with Rustenburg at 4,194 and Matlosana at 1,277 infections. 

The department said the people who had succumbed to the virus had underlying health conditions.

“We have observed the following common primary diagnoses among Covid-19 related deaths: pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, cardiac failure, aspiration pneumonitis, severe pancreatitis, renovascular disease and renal failure, while common comorbidities include diabetes, hypertension and obesity,” said Lekgethwane. 

The department said it was alarmed that premier Tebogo Job Mokgoro and public works and roads MEC Saliva Molapisi had tested positive for Covid-19.

“The department wishes them a speedy recovery. Contact tracing of all the cases including contacts with affected members of the executive council has started and is at an advanced stage.”

Lekgethwane said he was identified as a contact with the officials who tested positive and the late co-operative governance, human settlement & traditional affairs MEC Gordon Kegakilwe. 

"I am a contact of all the three members of the executive council affected by Covid-19. As a precaution, I am now in isolation with no symptoms and continue to do my work virtually. I will take a test on Friday."  

The department said there were 24 quarantine sites at private and public facilities. All of these facilities, excluding planned field hospitals, had a combined capacity of 741 beds.

Residents of the province have been urged to adhere to regulations and exercise caution. 

"I wish to send a red alert to the citizens of the province. We are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of positive cases and deaths. This requires application of the necessary precautions," said Lekgethwane.

"Citizens must abide by Covid-19 regulations by keeping social distancing, wearing masks, sanitising and avoid unnecessary travel."

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.