Wednesday, 17 April, 2024
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Western Cape strategy to protect diabetics with COVID-19

The Western Cape has launched an action plan that focuses on diabetic people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Daily Maverick reports that the action plan has different strategies for those who are low risk, moderate risk or high risk. “Those with diabetes and are over 50 years are at an increased risk of mortality,” said Western Cape Health Department head Keith Cloete at a virtual launch. “This is a proactive strategy that we’re proposing,” said Cloete.

Cloete said that of the 5,136 COVID-19 patients in the province who had diabetes, 45% of them ended up in private or public hospitals and 45% of all COVID-19 patients with diabetes had died. Therefore, an action plan was launched to target people with diabetes.

The report says according to Cloete’s presentation, there are 226 low-risk diabetic patients who’ve tested positive for COVID-19. This group will receive daily phone calls to monitor their symptoms and blood glucose readings, if available. Those in the group will be considered for hospital admission if their health deteriorates or if they’re struggling with glycaemic control. Similar steps will be taken for those who are considered to be at moderate risk.

Cloete said the high-risk group has had a 60% mortality rate in hospitals. Therefore, “these patients should be encouraged to be admitted, regardless of their symptoms”, said Cloete. Emergency medical services will help with transferring high-risk individuals to hospital within 48 hours.

They should be admitted for short-term glycaemic control, oxygen (where required) and supportive management, reads Cloete’s presentation. If these patients deteriorate, they’ll be transferred to a tertiary unit for specialised care, said Cloete.



Premier Alan Winde said in Business Tech: “Our experts have determined, using available data, that diabetic patients are the highest risk group and we have implemented a new strategy, which includes daily check-ins with COVID-19 patients with diabetes, as well as hospital admission at the CTICC for those diabetic patients which are the highest risk.”

“Our data shows that almost half of all COVID-19 positive people in the province with diabetes have required hospitalisation, and of those hospitalised, 45% have died.”

The report says in his weekly message to the country, president Cyril Ramaphosa also cautioned over the rising outbreaks amid the elderly. “Coronavirus can infect anyone, but older people are among those at highest risk of getting severely ill and possibly dying. Sadly, there have been a number of coronavirus outbreaks at old age homes and care centres, resulting in a number of deaths.”

In addition, the president said that data released by the Health Department indicates that people with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, renal disease, asthma and chronic respiratory disease are more vulnerable to developing severe complications and dying from coronavirus.

According to new research published by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, a third of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19 had at least one co-morbidity, he said.


[link url=""]Full Daily Maverick report[/link]


[link url=""]Full Business Tech report[/link]

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