Hospitals, clinics clear the decks for Covid-19 fight

Mark van der Heever

Stay away from hospitals and clinics unless it’s an emergency.

That’s the message from the provincial Department of Health as it clears the decks to stop Covid-19 spreading and braces for the full impact of the worldwide pandemic.

According to department spokesman Mark van der Heever, the focus is on clearing the facilities of people who don’t need to be there. Fewer people, spending less time in a waiting room curbs the spread of the virus and makes it easier for health-care workers to tackle Covid-19 cases.

To do this the, department is making several changes.

* Visiting times and visitor numbers are being reduced.

* Non-urgent outpatient appointments will be postponed.

* Stable chronic patients will be issued two-month’s supply of medication to reduce visits.

* Non-urgent elective surgery will be postponed.

* Outreach support to outlying areas will be reduced

* Hospital patients who are stable will be discharged to be cared for at home.

Mr Van der Heever urged the public to stay clear of hospitals and clinics unless faced with an emergency. And they should seek advice first if unsure.

If you have flu-like symptoms, including a cough and fever, first call the provincial Covid-19 hotline at 021 928 4102 for advice.

“Unless advised to, you should not go to your clinic or hospital,” he said.