South Africa deploys military personnel to help hospitals curb COVID-19 surge

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South Africa has deployed military servicemen in hospitals in the province of Gauteng to help fight against a COVID-19 cases surge, said Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane in a press briefing on Friday.

The minister said the South African National Defence Force medics would move into hospitals and areas where healthcare practitioners are needed.

“We have requested additional capacity to assist Gauteng in terms of military health that has moved into the province to assist us swiftly. What this will do is we will be able to release the capacity of the beds that have been held because there was no human capacity,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

The minister also said that military members would assist with COVID-19 tracing and testing. Gauteng is currently the country’s epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic, accounting for 60 percent of the country’s cases in the third wave.

As of Friday, South Africa has recorded 10,510 new COVID-19 cases, representing a positivity rate of 20.5 percent and bringing the country’s total cases to 1,796,589. Gauteng sees most of the cases provincially, having recorded a total of 536,848 of infections.

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