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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


MENDELSON, M et al. The mechanics of setting up a COVID-19 response: Experiences of the COVID-19 epidemic from Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2020, vol.110, n.9. ISSN 2078-5135.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has challenged the provision of healthcare in ways that are unprecedented in our lifetime. Planning for the sheer numbers expected during the surge has required public hospitals to de-escalate all non-essential clinical services to focus on COVID-19. Western Cape Province was the initial epicentre of the COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa (SA), and the Cape Town metro was its hardest-hit geographical region. We describe how we constructed our COVID-19 hospital-wide clinical service at Groote Schuur Hospital, the University of Cape Town's tertiary-level teaching hospital. By describing the barriers and enablers, we hope to provide guidance rather than a blueprint for hospitals elsewhere in SA and in low-resource countries that face similar challenges now or during subsequent waves.

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