The Star Late Edition

Call for action over strife-torn Gaza


AS SOUTH Africa said it was geared up to provide support to any local families that might be trapped in the strife-torn Gaza Strip, Palestinia­n support groups have called for a decisive internatio­nal stance against Israel including cutting diplomatic ties.

Meanwhile, the SA-based Israel-aligned organisati­ons slammed SA’s “one-sided and blinkered” approach to the violence, arguing Israel had also received its fair share of the attacks.

More than 122 Palestinia­ns, including 31 children, had been killed in the bombing of civilians by the Israeli army, according to the SA BDS Coalition, a Palestinia­n support body.

As the #Africa4Pal­estine movement expected similar flare-ups in the future on the basis that the latest episode had been experience­d in the past, the World Head and Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community refuted Israeli claims that the targets were Palestinia­n militants, saying innocent civilians were being attacked.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad called on the internatio­nal Muslim world to form a united front and speak out against the attacks.

THE Gauteng provincial government has prepared for the third wave of the coronaviru­s by opening a new hospital on the West Rand.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura announced on Friday that the province was in the grip of a Covid-19 third wave.

“Having seen over 1 000 cases a day we cannot afford to close down the province’s economy but we definitely want to see an increase in restrictio­ns,” said Makhura.

The premier was speaking during the official opening of a refurbishe­d mining hospital in Carletonvi­lle on the West Rand with Infrastruc­ture Developmen­t MEC Tasneem Motara and Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi.

The new hospital was opened following the commitment Makhura made in May last year to provide support to the mining industry to curb the spread of the coronaviru­s.

The premier’s spokespers­on, Vuyo Mhaga, said the facility was donated by AngloGold Ashanti and reconstruc­ted by the Gauteng provincial government.

“The hospital is part of the Covid-19 Infrastruc­ture Building Programme initiated to enable Gauteng through the Department of Health to deliver on Covid-19 containmen­t strategies,” Mhaga said.

The AngloGold Ashanti Hospital is fully functional with 181 intensive care unit and high care unit beds, a pharmacy, admin and admission areas, and radiology, laboratory, and physiother­apy units.

The provincial government said the facility implemente­d under the National Disaster Act had been fitted with a decontamin­ation area and a central sterile supply department to curb the spread of the coronaviru­s.

The AngloGold Ashanti Hospital will also be home to the Emergency Medical Services unit previously housed in Wedela, Merafong City.

At the opening of the new hospital, Makhura said health infrastruc­ture was central to the provincial government’s health response.

“Our investment in this area is critical to our response against the Covid-19 pandemic. The provincial government saw an opportunit­y to take over the hospital following its closure,” said Makhura.

The opening of the hospital is expected to relieve pressure on Carletonvi­lle and Leratong hospitals as the public facility will aid in extending health care to communitie­s on the West Rand.

“The hospital was commission­ed during the peak of the coronaviru­s when the West Rand was declared a Covid-19 hot spot after 196 miners tested positive for Covid-19 at the AngloGold Ashanti Mponeng Mine,” Mhaga said.

The Gauteng provincial government will also be opening a new clinic in Greens Park, Fochville, at the end of May that will form part of the National Health Insurance pilot phase roll out.

Following the announceme­nt of Gauteng experienci­ng the third wave, Makhura said the priority of the government was now to slow down the infection rate and increase the pace of the vaccinatio­n process.

The province will commence with phase 1B and phase 2 of the vaccinatio­n programme today. Makhura, joined by MECs, will join health-care workers in the province at various medical and non-medical facilities.

Phase 1B will commence with the vaccinatio­n of the remaining healthcare workers, traditiona­l health practition­ers and staff employed at funeral parlours. Phase 2 of the vaccinatio­n roll-out programme will target vulnerable groups who are 60 years and older.

 ?? | AFP ?? PALESTINIA­NS load bodies during preparatio­ns for their burial outside Al-Shifa Hospital.
| AFP PALESTINIA­NS load bodies during preparatio­ns for their burial outside Al-Shifa Hospital.
 ??  ?? PREMIER David Makhura at the official opening of the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital on the West Rand.
PREMIER David Makhura at the official opening of the AngloGold Ashanti Hospital on the West Rand.

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