As the lockdown enters its ninth week, an unforeseen casualty has been the private ambulance industry. The sector - which supports more than 400 companies and over 13,000 medics - has been roiled by a sharp dip in revenue as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many firms placing staff on short time and others mothballing usually busy ambulances. Private ambulance services transport the sick and injured for a fee, with revenue streams intrinsically linked to house calls, road accidents and workplace and sporting injuries. But with the decline in road accidents and a new-found fear of hospitals, medics said the survival of their companies is uncertain. The South African Private Ambulance & Emergency Services Association (Sapaesa) this week warned that many companies faced closure. "If the South African economy continues in its downward spiral in response to the current lockdown, a number of private ambulance services in South Africa face imminent closure," said Sapaesa CEO Ol...

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