The Eastern Cape Department of Health has launched a new scooter project aimed at offering medical assistance to South Africans in rural areas.
“These multi-purpose units are extremely versatile and can transport patients or deliver medication in rural communities,” said minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize.
“They have off-road capabilities and are equipped with waterproofing and drip stands.”
As part of the launch, Mkhize also showcased new ‘mobile clinics’ which also aim to bring healthcare to rural communities within the province.
Testing out one of the units now available as part of the scooter project! They have off-road capabilities and are equipped with waterproofing and drip stands. #ECVisit12June pic.twitter.com/1yDObRyhM8
— Dr Zweli Mkhize (@DrZweliMkhize) June 12, 2020
The Eastern Cape has reported the third-highest number of coronavirus cases in the country as of Thursday (11 June) with a total of 7,838 cases (13.4%).
The province has seen a total of 178 deaths and 4,107 recoveries.
Speaking on the impact of the coronavirus in the province, Mkhize noted that the number of cases are expected to rise and that a number of districts have already been identified as potential hotspots.
“The numbers in the Eastern Cape are rising; whilst we know the numbers are increasing we’d like them to increase at a slower rate. The risk now is as we are moving to the lower levels, the cluster outbreaks are going to increase.
“The numbers in OR Tambo (district) are increasing, and we are now looking at it as a hotspot. In reality, we would like to see the districts divided into sub-districts and focus on the particular areas.
“Identifying cases and isolation are key. There is no short cut. We want to break the cycle of infection.”
On Thursday (11 June), Mkhize announced that South Africa now has 58,568 confirmed cases of coronavirus. This is up by 3,148 cases from the 55,421 infections on Wednesday when 2,430 new cases were reported.
A total of 1,028,399 tests have been conducted to date, of which 29,999 tests have been conducted over the past 24-hour period, the minister said. Mkhize reported 74 additional deaths over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,284.