The hospital system in Swaziland (eSwatini) is close to breaking point as coronavirus cases continue to rise, the Minister of Health Lizzie Nkosi reported.
She announced a series of measures designed to save it from collapse.
She blamed people for not following guidelines, including wearing facemasks and self-distancing.
She told a press briefing, ‘The health system is not yet overwhelmed, but it is going there. Hence, the need to change the way we operate.’
As of 25 July 2020 the Ministry of Health had identified 2,142 positive cases in Swaziland. There had been 28 deaths. Nkosi said about 23,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) tests had been carried out. The population of Swaziland is about 1.3 million.
She said, ‘Considering the increasing number of cases and deaths and the large number of contacts that need to be traced, we have revised strategies for better use of resources while ensuring access to quality care for those who need it the most and reducing the risk of death.’
She said under the new guidelines hospital admission would be prioritized for those with moderate to severe and critical illness and those with mild disease with pre-existing conditions.
She also said treatment would no longer be centralised and would be available in public hospitals across the kingdom. Some private hospitals would now also be used.
Testing would be prioritized for all who meet the case definition for the virus and suspect who show symptoms.
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