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Absent Patients Sound Alarm Bells for South African Doctor

  • One in four people in rural area have diabetes or hypertension
  • TB expert has worked as de facto Covid-19 doctor for months
Marthinus du Plessis.
Marthinus du Plessis.Source: Marthinus du Plessis
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It’s 5:30 a.m. when Marthinus du Plessis wakes up and packs his second pair of scrubs before driving to work at a rural hospital in South Africa’s eastern KwaZulu-Natal province. He’s one of the doctors who processes patients coming in for Covid-19 tests and makes calls on admissions, and has to give himself extra time to layer on his boots, gown, mask and visor.