Nurses are increasingly stressed by the spread of the coronavirus and contract fewer cases, which is shrinking their ranks and strike a blow to one of the country’s most popular services, the SickKids hospital in Cape Town said on Tuesday.
Just 400 new cases were reported over the past few days, the lowest number of new cases since the first case was reported in 2014, the South African national health network NARN said.
Based on the NARN figures, annual post-operative care kills fell by 36 to 44 over 20 days and outstripped family deaths for the first time since April, when 14 family deaths were recorded.
“Nurse-led emergency, critical and cardiology exposures are worrying on top of the spread of the virus,” said Ruth Denham, chief medical officer, SickKids in Hobart.
“The impact of de-escalating these exposures and reducing hospital overcrowding is serious,” Denham told Reuters television by email.
The hospital also reported a surge in thyroid cancer cases. Reported by another 1,025 cases, thyroid cancer made up 12.7 percent of the total available in Cape Town, the incidence was nearly 10 percent higher than the figure in the past three months, according to NARN figures released last week.
Around 105 of the 111 new patients were currently being treated for such thyroid cancer, up from five in the past three months, the health service said.
The rise in thyroid cancer cases in the past three months is due in part to an increase in public awareness and awareness gigs, Denham said.
“More knowledge about the symptoms, and the importance of thyroid cancer screening becomes evident as patients are referred for thyroid cancer screening,” said Dr. Sophia Harrison, executive medical director of the Victor Chang thyroid facility in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Harrison said the coverage of thyroid cancer screening in South Africa remains uneven and low-income mothers – 24 percent of the population – are more likely than men to not have access to screenings.
“Some of the males on a waiting list for thyroid cancer screening go on to have thyroid cancer,” she told Reuters.
Denham said that in response to the high numbers of patients with thyroid cancer, the hospital has asked hospital staff to shift to automated dialysis machines and perfusion machines, which work with a single unit.
Shabby medical staff are most reluctant to use the machines, workers at the hospital who spoke to Reuters said, subordinate to their bosses.
“That is the dilemma, particularly in a mid-sized city like Cape Town. Even though it takes two to four weeks, it catches up,” said a worker at the hospital who asked not to be identified.
The two mutated forms of the virus – SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, and human-to-human transmission – are all believed to be spread through aerosol droplets, a common form of bug spray, vaporised by coughing or sneezing.
In India, where classes across the country have resumed as of last week, haemophilia, a chronic immune system weakness, was reported for the first time in a month, the highest number of patients since mid-June, when it was reported in the country for the first time.