Covid-19: 1751 facilities identified for quarantine
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure said it had secured beds across the country for this purpose. Spokesperson Bukiwe Mgobozi said there were more than 129 600 beds in all 44 districts and eight metros. Of the 1 751 facilities, 642 were state-owned and 1 109 were privately-owned and volunteered by their owners to help in fighting the pandemic.
“The department has been working on all fronts over the past two months to ensure that we are ready 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.
“The department was also approached by the private sector - specifically the hospitality sector, who are willing to avail their sites to be used for quarantine purposes as these properties were empty due to lockdown regulations and therefore had no guests and we want to thank them for their offers.”
City of Tshwane spokesperson Lindela Mashigo said the metro also put forward a list of facilities through its departments dealing in health and social development.
Mashigo said the City unfortunately could not reveal the names of its proposed facilities until they were all assessed and approved by the Department of Health.
According to the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, 395 facilities have been assessed by the Department of Health and are compliant according to requirements for quarantine facilities. This represents 35759 beds.
There were also sites from state-owned entities such as Transnet and Eskom that had been activated.
“The public sector sites have been set up and activated by the government and in the various provinces, these sites are managed by the respective provincial governments.
“With these numbers, we can assure South Africans of the department’s state of readiness to have enough quarantine facilities available as the need arises with an expected increase in infections and repatriations.
“The department’s state of readiness will be improved as more sites are assessed and confirmed by the Department of Health,” said Mgobozi.
Although some provinces are still finalising their plans for field hospitals, the Western Cape, the current epicentre of the virus, has 358 identified facilities, representing more than 27500 beds. Some of these sites have been assessed and confirmed as compliant and been activated.
In the Eastern Cape, 32 hospitals have been identified for refurbishment. In KwaZulu-Natal, 19 hospitals are being refurbished and in Mpumalanga, 10 sites have been identified for field hospitals and the province is busy with technical assessments.
In the North West, teams are focusing on augmenting the capacity of existing hospitals by constructing additional structures.