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Thursday, 27 May 2021

Surge in Covid-19 admissions seen in the Northern Cape, the North West, the Free State and Gauteng

Johannesburg, 27 May 2021 — The latest data from AfroCentric, SA's most diversified majority black-owned health group listed on the JSE, has revealed that in the AfroCentric managed care population the cumulative Covid-19 positive hospital admissions have now reached 68,814, which is an increase of 893 admissions between 11 and 18 May this year. Additionally, the number of in-hospital deaths attributed to Covid-19 has climbed by 103 patients during the same week, putting the death toll at 10,213 for the AfroCentric managed care population.

This is according to Dr Lungi Nyathi, Managing Executive for Clinical Risk and Advisory at Medscheme, a subsidiary of AfroCentric Group. Our latest statistics provide evidence of a surge in Covid-19 admissions in the Northern Cape, North West, Free State and Gauteng, explains Dr Nyathi. "So far, these seem to be hotspots for new infections, with little evidence of a resurgence in Eastern Cape, KZN, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape, so far."

The data cited has been compiled by AfroCentric Group's Health Intelligence Unit, which updates its information each week. The data is derived from Medscheme's Hospital Benefit Management Programme, which captures detailed information related to hospital admissions for the medical schemes Medscheme manages.

Dr Nyathi says that, while the Northern Cape, North West, Free State and Gauteng are currently of particular concern, every province in the country seems to have at least one Covid-19 hotspot at present.

"Although some of these districts may have relatively low case incidences, the significant rise in percentage changes should be taken as a serious warning. Nationally, the latest surge in admissions is still low when compared to the massive spikes that the country saw around July and December of 2020 and January 2021, but we believe that it should not be taken any less seriously."

AfroCentric vaccination sites – targeting 7,000 per day

Dr Nyathi adds that even though this may be the start of the expected third Covid-19 wave, there is a reason to be optimistic. " South Africa's vaccine rollout is steadily underway. It is critical that we ramp up quickly and have more registrations in order to vaccinate those at highest risk ahead of the third wave.

"Our country has made significant sacrifices in our efforts to contain the virus, and we need to ensure that hasn't been in vain. With reasonable precautions in place and the continued rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, I believe South Africa can continue to weather – and come through – this storm."

AfroCentric Group has been vaccinating eligible South Africans since the beginning of the Phase 2 of the national roll-out, and will be managing sites in Roodepoort, Centurion, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban. The Roodepoort and Centurion sites are already live and are actively vaccinating.

"60% of our vaccinations are for those over 60, and the rest for various healthcare workers, says Dr Nyathi, "We anticipate that we will do over 7,000 vaccines per day when all sites have been rolled out.

Beyond vaccination, AfroCentric Group has been actively doing its part to help South Africa manage the spread of the pandemic in other ways. Earlier in the year, the Group began rolling out Covid-19 rapid testing stations, in partnership with Navomix Health, a passenger medical services provider to the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA), at two major South African airports. In addition, AfroCentric has also made its network of 3,000 experienced and registered nurses available to travel anywhere in the country to assist vaccination administering, starting with vaccinations in old age homes.

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