Some have questioned if the recent second wave will mean that the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) field hospital will be resurrected. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
Some have questioned if the recent second wave will mean that the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) field hospital will be resurrected. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

This is why the Western Cape government won’t resurrect the CTICC Covid-19 field hospital

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Dec 17, 2020

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Cape Town - While the Western Cape is currently experiencing an increase in Covid-19 cases, some have questioned if this means the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) will be used as a field hospital.

During this week’s digital press conference to provide an update on the Covid-19 situation, it was revealed that with the increase in active cases in all districts, it represents an established second wave in the Western Cape.

Head of the Department of Health in the Western Cape, Dr Keith Cloete, said that despite the second wave the province has no need to bring the CTICC field hospital back.

The field hospital, located in the CBD, was decommissioned in September, and the Brackengate field hospital became the central Covid-19 “Hospital of Hope”.

The Brackengate field hospital has a 338 bed capacity, and there are currently 253 patients admitted there.

Cloete said that the CTICC and Brackengate field hospitals were not servicing the whole province, and were only in use for the metro.

The Western Cape’s hospital capacity currently allows for:

  • 6 736 acute public sector beds (including 630 additional beds) and 381 critical care public sector beds (including 135 additional beds).
  • Potential for 180 additional beds in metropolitan, depending on oxygen points and availability of staff.

Cloete explained that the reason why they do not need to bring back the CTICC field hospital is because they have made up the needed capacity elsewhere.

The CTICC and Brackengate were not servicing the whole province and were only in use for the metro, according to Cloete. The CTICC had 860 beds, however, at any given time the province had used just short of 400 beds for Covid-19 patients.

“When we brought it online, we never commissioned 860 beds at the CTICC, at best we commissioned 400 beds because of staffing. As we brought the occupancy at the CTICC down, we opened Brackengate as a field hospital.”

“Brackengate has 338 beds, so our strategy is... that Brackengate is our field hospital. For Brackengate we have extended the lease, and the contract so that we could use it for this purpose.

“What we had to do for Brackengate is find additional staff - members able to capacitate it - so that it can manage up to the 338 beds.”

Cloete said there were a potential 180 additional beds that they could bring online, as dictated by oxygen points and availability of staff, but thereafter they would use it as legacy infrastructure.

“In the rural areas of the province, our focus was on putting extra beds into our own facilities, which will act as legacy projects and which will expand the capacity and improve the functioning of our hospitals, in George, Hermanus, Worcester, Paarl and Vredendal beyond Covid-19 and into the future,” said Cloete. Approximately 300 acute beds and 135 ICU beds have been added into the province’s system.

Cape Argus

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