Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize File picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)
Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize File picture: Nqobile Mbonambi/African News Agency (ANA)

Mkhize opens phase one of Volkswagen SA's field hospital in Uitenhage

By Robin-Lee Francke Time of article published Jun 23, 2020

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Cape Town – Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize opened the first phase of the Rev Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni field hospital in Nelson Mandela Bay, Eastern Cape, on Tuesday.

The hospital in Uitenhage on the premises of Volkswagen (VW) SA was built by VWSA through funding from the German government. 

VW was established in 1946 in SA and is one of the largest German investments in the country.

Delivering his keynote address, Mkhize said this project was a reflection of solidarity by the two nations to save humanity. 

"A total of 3 300 beds, along with the oxygen reticulation to go with it, have been established in record time in the first phase.

“We discussed how this has demonstrated efficiency and strong project management- skills that government would benefit a great deal from,” Mkhize said.

"The Health Department has recorded a total of 101 590 Covid-19 cases and “it is also significant we have now seen a rapid rise in daily numbers of cases, of late exceeding 4 000 a day,” Mkhize said. 

He also said that in just over 100 days, the country has reported almost 2 000 deaths, with a total of 53 444 recoveries, which assured citizens more than 50 percent of Covid-19 infected persons recovered.

“South Africa has 2 888 patients who are in isolation in a general ward, 262 patients who are in high care, 539 patients who are in ICU, 218 patients who are on ventilators and 566 patients who are on oxygen. 

“These figures are much lower than the 20 percent we had initially projected and represent a public health response that has placed emphasis on proactive, preventative medicine,”  Mkhize said. 

He said since the government called on healthcare professionals to assist during the pandemic, 6 508 professionals were employed. Of those employed, 6 108 are nurses, 194 doctors and 206 are emergency medical personnel. 

Mhkize also stated over 3 000 healthcare workers contracted Covid-19. 

“As at 16 June, 3 583 healthcare workers acquired Covid-19 and of those we have lost 34 soldiers to this war.

“For those healthcare workers who are still battling the virus, we wish them a speedy recovery and we are indeed very pleased that 1 993 healthcare workers have recovered,”  Mkhize said.

African News Agency (ANA)


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