Suitable venues are being looked for in the Western Cape to be used as temporary treatment sites, in preparation for any increases in the province’s number of coronavirus infections.
Premier Alan Winde’s spokesperson Bianca Capazorio told News24 on Thursday: “As part of our preparedness strategy and to ensure sufficient healthcare resources are available, we were exploring a number of sites across the province which will be used for the treatment, care, isolation and quarantine of Covid-19 patients.
“Announcements will be made once all of the details of these have been finalised.”
On Wednesday, News24 reported that the government in Gauteng, the epicentre of the pandemic in the country, was negotiating with conferencing venue Nasrec to turn it into a temporary treatment site for Covid-19 patients in need of urgent care.
Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku said the department was “working with Nasrec to put up a bigger facility for hospitalisation purposes”, referring to ICU, high care and a general wards.
News24 understands the site would have around 2,000 beds.
The number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in South Africa had risen to 1,380 by Wednesday, up by 27 from the day before.
The Western Cape, at 326, was second to Gauteng, which recorded 645 cases.
Five deaths have been confirmed in South Africa.
Winde, in his daily update on Wednesday, said the province had 16 people in hospital, with four receiving treatment in ICU.
“Our contact tracing teams continue to work to quickly identify and isolate close contacts in all instances of a positive case being identified. We currently have 20 people whom we have placed into isolation facilities, where they are receiving appropriate care,” he said.
“We acknowledge that, for some, self-isolation will not always be possible and we are working to identify additional facilities to be used as quarantine and isolation sites across the province.”
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed on Wednesday that 87,000 beds were available in public health institutions to accommodate coronavirus patients, although his department was anticipating an increase as time went on.