Just weeks after confirming the first case of COVID-19 in South Africa, the government ordered a lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve of infections. One of the reasons was to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system.
For a population of around 59 million, the country has limited intensive care unit beds and ventilators. And supplies of personal protective equipment for health workers are sub-optimal. These are some of the resources needed most in this epidemic, given the lack of specific treatment. Ventilation will only be needed for the most seriously ill patients – approximately 5% of proven coronavirus infections. However, the number of such patients may exceed the number of ventilators in South Africa…..more