State-owned arms manufacturer Denel has allocated resources and expertise to design and develop medical ventilators locally as South Africa’s coronavirus infections increased by 70 cases to 1 655.
A total of 11 deaths have been recorded, health minister Zweli Mkhize said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday.
The country’s military health services have called on registered civilian health practitioners to join its members on the ground to help contain the spread of the disease as the country entered its 10th day of a three-week lockdown. It said the operation may continue until 23 June.
The government expects the number of coronavirus infections to increase as testing is ramped up through a mass screening programme which will encompass about 10 000 field workers. They will check up on people in their homes and at mobile testing stations. South Africa has the highest number of confirmed cases on the continent. A total of 56 873 Covid-19 tests have been conducted.
Meanwhile, Denel plans to make ventilators to increase the capacity of medical equipment to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are still in the early stages of the project, but we are optimistic that this local initiative will help to alleviate the dire need for medical ventilators that are required in great numbers at both public and private hospitals,” Denel CEO Danie Du Toit said in an e-mailed statement on Sunday. — Reported by Amogelang Mbatha, (c) 2020 Bloomberg LP