In South Africa, a week-long investigation by BBC revealed the status and conditions of the hospital in the country where they found a vast system of failures as doctors and medical experts have become exhausted due to the surge of the coronavirus pandemic in the nation.

According to the newspaper, several key staff in the Eastern Cape province have either gone on strike or have been infected with COVID-19.

Horrific hospital conditions

Hospital nurses are forced to work as cleaners, surgeons are on their own in washing their hospital laundry, and an alarming number of deaths of unborn babies resulting from overcrowded maternity wards who were suffering from lack of staff.

As the country's medical experts and workers scour for scarce resources, a senior doctor called the situation an "epic failure of a deeply corrupt system," and another openly criticized the "institutional burn-out" and claimed the apparent lack of governmental support to the medical sector.

The situation comes after South Africa was known to be one of the countries who had an effective early strategy against the coronavirus. The state had a robust and economically-threatening lockdown to curb the infection.

Now, the nation is facing unprecedented infection rates, urging the country's President Cyril Ramaphosa to caution South Africa's citizens to prepare for the storm that the pandemic would bring.

The majority of the effects of the declining health system is centered on Port Elizabeth and brings doubts to how government officials utilized the early months in the fight against COVID-19.

Infectious disease specialist Dr John Black said the country was facing a massive amount of fear and was experiencing a startling amount of mental and emotional fatigue.

According to Channel News Asia, the medical expert noted they were running with a skeleton staff system before the coronavirus spread and are now working with an additional 30 percent reduction in the workforce.

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Severe lack of equipment and staff

At the Livingstone Hospital which the country designated as the main hospital for coronavirus patients, medical workers compared their work environment to a war-torn area where blood and waste sprawl across the floors.

Inside the medical establishment, a severe lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can be seen as well as patients that are left to sleep under newspapers, as reported by 9 News.

The situation gets worse after rats have been found to be feeding on dark red hospital waste that workers poured into an open drain, adding to the health risks the hospital is already experiencing.

In an email, one doctor noted that he and his colleagues scrambled to perform the most urgent surgeries and were in charge of portering, scrubbing floors, and working with only one or two nurses.

A senior nurse who had just finished her hours stated she came into work every day fearing for her life and those of patients' due to the severe situations.

Another medical worker noted the country's infection rates kept increasing, and every day the hospital was in disarray. She added multiple pregnant women were seen across the ward.

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