Cyril Ramaphosa visited Cape Town today to check the state of readiness in the
province for the expected surge in coronavirus cases.
The city is
the epicentre of the outbreak in South Africa and the Western Cape accounts for
66% of all infections in the country.
provincial head of health, Dr Keith Cloete, who attended the guided tour, said the
province has 27 006 cases and 651 deaths.
On his tour,
President Ramaphosa first visited the Cape Town International Convention Centre
(CTICC) where he officially opened the Hospital of Hope.
“This is a
very important moment in our fight against the coronavirus. A time to be
creative, innovative and be able to transform a public facility usually used
for conferences, exhibitions and festivals into a healthcare centre named
Hospital of Hope,” he said.
on the field hospital early in May. Medical staff underwent orientation at the
facility this week and patients will be admitted from tomorrow.
Premier Alan Winde said the field hospital has 862 beds.
Mayor Dan Plato said the CTICC
has been an important part of Cape Town’s economy through the hosting of major
local and international events while creating thousands of jobs. However, its
greatest – and most important – use appears to be in the coming weeks.
The temporary infrastructure build, operating
and catering costs for the initial hire period will total about R47 million. This
excludes the costs that the Department of Health incurs in providing clinical
equipment, oxygen, medication and staff for the temporary hospital.
Ramaphosa is also scheduled to visit the Red Dot Taxi operating service that
had transported around 6 000 healthcare workers since its inception in May.
Dr Cloete said that the
province’s intensive care unit (ICU) mortality rate was at 66% and it was 18%
in the general ward section. “We have established a pattern of a five-day
general ward average length of stay, and 8 to 10-day critical care length of
stay. It is a little bit longer if you look at people who are currently in ICU,
so we are giving you the data of everybody that is either deceased or have been