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Mpumalanga develops ‘pillared strategy’ to curb Covid-19 spread

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Mpumalanga develops ‘pillared strategy’ to curb Covid-19 spread

Photo by Bloomberg

3rd July 2020

By: Yvonne Silaule
Contributor

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With Mpumalanga coronavirus (Covid-19) infections projected to peak in the latter part of July, the province has developed a pillared strategy to alleviate the spread of the virus.

The number of Covid-19 infections in the province is currently at 1 478.

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Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tshipane said the increase of Covid-19 infections in the province had necessitated a development strategy – the Primary Prevention (pre-surge), the Secondary Intervention (peak surge) and the Post Covid-19 Aftermath (post surge).

Mtshweni-Tshipane was speaking at the Rob Ferreira Hospital in Mbombela, on Friday during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s visit to Mpumalanga as part of his provincial response visit.

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“As the Mpumalanga province, we have developed a strategy that will focus on the control and management of the exponential increase in the rate of infections, which includes the establishment of  402 ward-based containment teams under the leadership of ward councillors, thus deploying a ‘wall to wall’ strategy across all wards in the province,” said Mtshweni-Tshipane.

Mtshweni-Tshipane said that Primary Prevention (pre-surge) involves seeking to promote health and behavioural change among communities in the province by interrupting and containing the spread of the virus through the integrated coordination of government activities and by ensuring that the Department of Health coordinates its activities with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta).

The province has also been in communication with neighbouring countries to promote integrated management across borders.

“We have also been in constant communication with our peers from the Kingdom of eSwatini, as well as Mozambique, in order to promote the integrated management of cross border Covid-19 cases by augmenting the existing memoranda of understanding we have with provinces in the respective countries,” said Mtshweni-Tshipane.

Meanwhile, the Secondary Intervention (peak surge) pillar outlines the manner in which the province will manage positive cases and suspected positive cases of Covid-19, especially during the anticipated surge in July.

“The implementation of this strategy will include management of cases according to severity and comorbidities status, increasing the number of quarantine facilities and isolation sites, fast-tracking the field hospital installation at the Mbombela stadium and expediting the procurement of intensive care unit equipment, such as beds and ventilators, across the three districts, and ensuring regular stock audit for the availability of the dexamethasone drug,” said Mtshweni-Tshipane.

She further explained that the final pillar, the Covid-19 Aftermath (post surge) talks to the dignified management of human remains of those who have succumbed to Covid-19.

According to the Premier, preliminary projections estimate 10 to 48 deaths a day in the province by mid-July 2020. To date, the province has a total of 347 mortuaries and 33 crematoria in both the private and public sectors.

She said the provincial Cogta is already in the process of identifying additional land across the province for use as cemeteries.

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