Tshwane Emergency Services Department (ESD) has procured a specialised emergency services ambulance which will give a boost to Tshwane’s fight against COVID-19. The specialised emergency medical services capabilities were recently showcased when the Special Infectious Unit (SIU) Ambulance transported a suspected COVID-19 patient in Pretoria North.

MMC of Community Safety Karen Meyer said the SIU Ambulance is equipped with a negative pressure isolation chamber which ultimately allows patients to be scanned in the chamber without exposing staff to COVID-19.

“This ambulance is the first of its kind in South Africa and fulfils the key requirements for responding to and dealing with hazardous material Level B incidents, viral hemorrhagic fever, extensively drug-resistant or multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR or MDR TB), and more recently, COVID-19 patient treatment and transportation,” said Meyer.

According to Meyer, the team of paramedics on the SIU Ambulance is trained and equipped to handle medical emergencies where suspected or known cases of infectious or contagious substances are involved. She went on to say that to date no member has been infected with COVID-19, largely due to the maintenance of strict protocols and standard operating procedures and the advanced equipment and capabilities of the vehicle.

While the specialised ambulances were launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for such vehicles was identified by the ESD management team long before the COVID-19 outbreak, having studied the trends of various medical outbreaks, like Ebola and tuberculosis. #ladi_jaja?

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