- Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has pleaded with the president to come to the province's rescue
- Mabuyane has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa to send SANDF medical personnel to assist in the province
- The Eastern Cape has the third-highest number of Covid-19 infections but the second-highest number of deaths
Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane has publicly admitted for the first time that the Eastern Cape Health Department is struggling to cope with the high number of Covid-19 cases.
Mabuyane has asked President Cyril Ramaphosa for help in dealing with the problem.
The Premier requested that South African National Defence Force (SANDF) medical staff be deployed to the province to help fight the spread of the virus.
As at 30 June, South Africa has 151 209 positive identified Covid-19 cases and 2 657 total deaths. The Eastern Cape has 27 686 cases and 422 deaths.
The Eastern Cape has the third-highest number of cases after the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, in a series of tweets, said that contributing factors to the Eastern Cape's rising numbers is the proximity to Western Cape, interprovincial migration of workers and sub-optimal case management.
DispatchLIVE reported that Mabuyane admitted they were losing the fight against Covid-19, which he previously described as a moving target.
"In light of our healthcare system being overwhelmed, we have made a request to national government to deploy the medical team of the SA National Defence Force to assist us with the health intervention of our strategy."
The Premier added that it is in the education system where the real worry lies. The province has reported that more than 1 500 teachers, learners and non-teaching staff have contracted the virus, with three learners dying, said eNCA.
Briefly.co.za reported that Mabuyane asked the government to reinstate the alcohol ban because alcohol related trauma cases have been rising rapidly in the province and straining the healthcare system.
Mabuyane's comments came as no surprise to many as the provincial healthcare system has been buckling under the strain of Covid-19.
The Eastern Cape has also recorded that 838 health workers have tested positive for the virus and so far 24 have died.
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