Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille
Picture: GCIS
Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille Picture: GCIS

Nearly 2000 Covid-19 quarantine sites identified, says De Lille

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published May 29, 2020

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Durban - Nearly 2000 quarantine sites have been earmarked to assist government isolate and treat Covid-19 patients as the fight against the virus rages on. 

Some of these will serve as quarantine sites for repatriated South Africans, where they will be required to undergo mandatory isolation before being allowed back to their families. 

With the country set to downgrade to Level 3 from Monday, various ministers have shared how their departments plan to implement regulation as more sectors of the economy open up, with thousands of people going back to work and schools re-opening on June 1.

Speaking during a briefing by the economic cluster on Friday, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure Patricia de Lille, said her department has been working on all fronts over the past two months to ensure readiness for all eventualities and the worst case scenario by having enough quarantine facilities available as the need arises and should the number of people who need to be quarantined increase dramatically.

De Lille said to date, more more than 1 751 facilities have been earmarked as proposed quarantined sites comprising of more than 129 600 beds across the country, in all 44 districts and eight metros. 

"Of these 1 751 facilities, 642 are state-owned facilities and 1 109 are privately-owned.  In the Western Cape for example which is currently the epicenter of the virus, there are 358 facilities that have been identified representing more than 27 500 beds.   Some of these sites have been assessed and confirmed as compliant and been activated and the Department of Health is in the process of assessing the remainder of the sites," she said. 

The minister said more than 60 hospitals around the country have been earmarked for refurbishment.

"In the Eastern Cape, 32 hospitals have been identified for refurbishment, while in KwaZulu-Natal, 19 hospitals are being refurbished. In Mpumalanga, 10 sites have been identified for field hospitals and the province is currently busy with technical assessments.  

"In the Western Cape, the CTICC has been completed as a field hospital site and other sites have been identified and are being considered to be converted to field hospitals.  In the North West, teams are focusing on augmenting the capacity of existing hospitals by constructing additional structures.  The remaining provinces are still in the process of finalising their plans for field hospitals," she said. 

"To date, 395 facilities nationally have been assessed by DoH and are compliant according to the Department of Health’s requirements for quarantine facilities, representing 35 759 beds," De Lille said. 

In addition to state-owned and private facilities, there are also sites from State-Owned Entities (SOEs) such as the Transnet and Eskom facilities and these have been activated and managed by the SOEs.  

"With these numbers, we can assure South Africans of the DPWI’s state of readiness to have enough quarantine facilities available as the need arises with an expected increase in infections and repatriations.  

De Lille added that her department has assisted with procuring quarantine sites for more than 10 000 South Africans who were repatriated from all over the world.

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