Whistleblower Questions Winter Tent Deaths

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Whistleblower Questions Winter Tent Deaths

Suspected Covid-19 patients were routinely left for hours in an open tent, in sub-zero temperatures, outside a South African hospital during the mid-winter peak of the pandemic, leading to “many” people dying of suspected hypothermia, according to an exclusive investigation by BBC News.
The revelations have emerged as South Africa’s government has acknowledged and condemned widespread corruption and mismanagement during its response to the pandemic.
“It was freezing in that tent. As soon as night falls it’s horrible, you can see the patients declining. Hypothermia is one of the major causes of death here. Especially in that tent,” said a doctor at Sebokeng Hospital – a whistleblower who spoke to us on condition of anonymity.
The doctor said 14 people had reportedly died in the tent over one 48-hour period – though not all of hypothermia.

‘Disorganised havoc’

https://www.bbc.co.uk/

“We’re tired and sad and fearful for our patients. I ask myself how many people need to die unnecessarily for there to be an adequate investigation,” she said.

The doctor described “horrific” scenes in the marquee-sized tent – erected in the car park and used by the hospital as a makeshift triage and waiting room – over the course of several cold and hectic weeks in July, with elderly patients collapsing after being left for two days or more without sanitation, food or proper heating.
She said sick people were forced to crowd around three small electric heaters that frequently broke.
“I felt very stressed, angry, [and] hopeless. The lack of resources in that tent is an absolute joke… disorganised havoc.
“We don’t have drugs. No ventilator equipment. There was PPE lying all over the place, waiting to infect more people,” said the doctor, who complained that a number of medical staff had caught the virus as a result of the conditions.

Whistleblower Questions Winter Tent Deaths

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