Winde touts extra 2,300 hospital beds in new plea for lockdown easing

Western Cape premier Alan Winde takes part in a meeting of the president's co-ordinating council on Covid-19 on May 16. He is in quarantine after coming into contact with eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom, who died of the disease.
Western Cape premier Alan Winde takes part in a meeting of the president's co-ordinating council on Covid-19 on May 16. He is in quarantine after coming into contact with eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom, who died of the disease.
Image: Twitter/Alan Winde

Four temporary hospitals for Covid-19 patients will have more than 2,300 beds, Western Cape premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday.

In addition to an 850-bed facility at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the hospitals will be located in Khayelitsha, on the R300 and in the wine lands, he said.

The 850-bed, four-ward CTICC hospital would admit 200 people a day, and discharge the same number, he said. The three other hospitals would have 616 beds altogether.

Winde said planning for the hospitals was part of a range of health interventions that meant the province was ready for the Covid-19 peak and could join the rest of the country in moving to a lower level of lockdown.

“Covid-19 cannot be stopped, and many people will be infected over the coming weeks. The key measure that must be used to determine levels is whether we are prepared to provide care to every person who needs it at the time they need it,” he said.

He said other measures include:

  • a coronavirus hotline dealing with 500 calls daily;
  • 18 testing and triage centres;
  • the country's highest rate of Covid-19 testing;
  • the recruitment of 1,645 volunteers to support health-care workers when the peak arrives; and
  • orders for personal protective equipment (PPE) that will eventually reach R500m.

The loss of at least 200,000 jobs in the Western Cape meant more people would require humanitarian support, said Winde.

“This is precisely why we must open more of our economy over time. Not allowing this to happen will threaten lives in the future, and this cannot be ignored by any level of government.”

Confirmed Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape rose by 641 (6.5%) on Tuesday to 10,558.

After 4,363 recoveries and 183 deaths (up 18), there are 6,012 active cases (down nine).

Only 359 active cases in the province are outside Cape Town.

The city's confirmed infections rose by 607 (6.9%) to 9,370 on Tuesday. The sharpest increase was in Mitchells Plain, which recorded 103 new cases.


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